We should keep chaos off politics
By the end of today, Kenyans will have a clear picture of the presidential and gubernatorial line-ups in the August 9 elections.
The Kenya Kwanza Alliance, whose presidential candidate is Deputy President William Ruto, presented Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as its running-mate in the forthcoming poll yesterday. Other alliances, coalitions, political parties as well as the 47 independent candidates are expected to follow suit today.
That development opens the door for parties to present their lists of candidates to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for clearance and thereafter the commencement of campaigns proper.
However, events unfolding in the country at the moment point to a very worrying, if not chilling, atmosphere in Kenya’s political landscape ahead of the polls. There is growing anxiety and apprehension, and to some extent, fear.
Some of the messages springing from the larger section of the political class reveal Kenya is still deeply divided down the middle, both on ethnic and political grounds, in circumstances not dissimilar to those that paved the crevices for post-election violence in the country 15 years ago.
Last Saturday’s events in Mombasa where former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was assaulted at a public rally present wrong signals insofar as peaceful campaigns are concerned.
That primitive approach to politics must be rejected by one and all regardless of the direction the misbehaviour comes from. As citizens, we have a responsibility to safeguard peace, unity and stability of our country.
This, we must do by first admitting that we have a myriad social, political and economic challenges that must be confronted collectively as a nation.
At no time in our history has sanity been of such great essence and required of each one of us than now. Every Kenyan leader has a cardinal calling to promote peace and stability of the nation. Hate speech, politics of rancour and ethnic bigotry will not take Kenya forward. That will only drag us into a dark and painful past from which no one gains.
Respect for one another, their religions, tribes, cultures, opinions, political lchoices and freedoms devoid of arrogance and incitement is a democratic attire we all must be ready and willing to don at all times and costs.
We ask political party leaders and their foot soldiers, the State security apparatus, IEBC, Faith-based leaders and Kenyans of all social stations to ensure that we have a violence-free General-Election.