We must all prevent slide towards chaos

Thursday October 12 2017

By EDITORIAL
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It’s a pity the leadership is burying its head in the sand as the country teeters on the verge of a major catastrophe.

The mass protests by the National Super Alliance are getting out of hand and increasingly becoming ruinous. For its part, the Jubilee administration is getting extremely roguish and bullish as it tears down the Constitution through fraudulent amendments and administrative decrees.

We are faced with a serious political, social and economic crisis that must be addressed urgently. We cannot afford to have leaders so preoccupied with the selfish pursuit of power when the country is at the end of the tether.

Both Nasa and Jubilee Party have taken the wrong end of the stick. Nasa’s street protests to secure minimum reforms in election management are turning ugly and becoming a real threat to the nation’s stability.

DEATHS

They have caused deaths, disruptions and major business losses. This is not acceptable. Pursuit of political reforms cannot justify the wanton destruction and deaths we are witnessing.

While the Constitution secures the right to demonstrate, it does not give a licence for disruptions of enterprise and undermining public security.

What we are witnessing is a recipe for chaos and that is not acceptable. Nasa should pursue other options and stop risking the lives and properties of other citizens.

Jubilee Party has masked its mischief with law amendments. The Elections Act and the Elections Offences Act have been subjected to hurried amendments whose outcome is to lower the threshold for electoral processes and ultimately create easy paths to political power.

LEADERSHIP

In bad faith are administrative actions such as withdrawing the security detail of opposition leaders, deregistering civil society organisations, and curtailing foreign travel for public university lecturers, and they are all indications of tyrannical leadership.

The political players have lost direction. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga are entrapped in a vain pursuit of power and make grave mistakes in the process.

We cannot have a situation where leaders are so blinded with their own ways that they risk sacrificing a whole nation. We cannot have a society so divided just because of the political interests of a few people.

Mr Odinga has made a case for electoral reforms. He has publicly withdrawn from the repeat presidential election. But he should not use this single agenda to cause disruptions.

President Kenyatta, whose election was annulled by the Supreme Court, and has brought out the worst in him, must rethink his legacy.

HOSTILE

He is presiding over an administration that is increasingly becoming intolerant, intimidating and hostile to reason. He must respect the law.

We urge the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to give direction on the repeat poll in view of the latest developments — the withdrawal by Mr Odinga and the High Court directive to have all the candidates who took part in August 8 poll included in the new one.

We urge all Kenyans of goodwill to stand up and prevent the slide to chaos. We chose the path of democracy and there are no shortcuts.

We expect to go through painful experiences and institutions to be tested to the limit. But political parties, key institutions and individual citizens must all respect the law.

In the end, the burden is on President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to rein in their followers, end the hostilities and stop the country drifting into chaos.