There is a dark chapter in our history that we would like to forget, ‘2007 Post Elections Violence.’ Its Its 15 years since politicians convinced their followers to butcher fellow Kenyans resulting in one of the bloodiest post-election violence. As we prepare for the August elections, we must not make the mistakes that we made in 2007 and there are signs that we could be forgetting what led to the violence. President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy Dr. William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga have the sole responsibility of ensuring the elections are as peaceful as possible.
The 2007 general elections were marred by violence, which led to the death of over 1,000 people and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others. The violence was fueled by ethnic tensions and a lack of trust in the electoral process. Politicians made inflammatory language and rhetoric that plunged the country into chaos. Even though the president has already decided he will support the former prime minister’s quest to lead the country, he must not forget he is the symbol of national unity. He must rise above his personal preference and the grudge with his deputy to assure the country that he will do everything in his power to maintain peace.
We lost it in 2007 when the security personnel seemed to take sides in a political matter. The trend was also seen in 2013 and 2017 and it seems we have not learnt our lessons. The police and all those who are in charge of security starting from the minister for internal security must be seen to be neutral. The police are expected to keep the politicians in check in case some of them try to destabilize the country hence the need for them to remain neutral. In fact when they are sworn in, they swear allegiance to the country and the people and this must remain the case at all times.
As Kenyans, we must also learn to tell off politicians who want to cause chaos in the country. We must understand that whoever wins, our country must remain peaceful and ensure a peaceful transition. Our politicians seem to only drag Kenyans to matters that concern them while they do not care about our wellbeing. As the cost of living continues to soar, very few of them seem to care and petition the National Treasury to subsidize the basic commodities like flour and cooking oil. This is why we must tell them off if they try to take us to the streets if they are not declared winners.
As a matter of fact, whether Dr. Ruto or Eng. Odinga wins the elections, one thing remains costant, the high cost of living. These leaders do not have a magic bullet which they will use after being sworn in to address the issues that we face as a country as they would have already done so. One is a current deputy president with a lot of members of parliament supporting him while a nother is a former prime minister who is being fronted by a sitting president. How comes they are not willing to deploy their ideas before the elections to give us a teaser of what is to come?