EDITORIAL: Early campaigns a threat to progress - Daily Nation

Early campaigns a threat to progress

Wednesday June 13 2018

By EDITORIAL
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It is hardly a year after the elections yet politicians have hit the road with campaigns disguised as meet-the-people tours, which are bound to raise temperatures and derail the development agenda.

It is incredible that leading politicians are trashing alliances and are busy working on new coalitions — which simply means rallying their ethnic communities into unions with others in a bid to seek political power. It is raw greed for power; devoid of vision, mission or agenda.

We must resist this. After the protracted and deeply divisive campaigns last year, people are tired with politics and want to get on with life.

They demand services. Several indicators show that we are doing badly.

ECONOMIC STAGNATION

For the past two years, the country has experienced economic stagnation that require singular resolve to reverse.

Essentially, this was due to bad politics that one, consumed everybody’s energy at the expense of productive engagement and two, created tension that scared off investors. We cannot afford a similar scenario.

Next, governance and management of public resources is a real challenge.

Corruption has resurfaced in a big way and threatens to undermine the gains in all sectors of the economy.

Fighting the vice is hazardous and depends on strong political will and commitment.

But that is not possible in an environment where politicians are mobilising for political office.

POLITICAL CARDS

Not when the corrupt play ethnic and political cards to wriggle their way out.

Despite past experiences, the search for new alliances is premised on ethnic mobilisation, not ideology. The politics of ethnicity is fundamentally the politics of exclusion. Communities are rallied to win power and guaranteed access to public resources at the expense of others. Consequent to this is disillusionment among the excluded and the predisposition to protests, itself a threat to national unity and economic stability.

It is dishonest for politicians to stand on the podium to preach about this being the time for national development while at the same time running around and dividing the people as they angle themselves for the 2022 General Election.

Politicians must stop these premature campaigns; they are an unnecessary distraction.