In the last few months, political temperatures have been on the rise across the country, with incidences and utterances that openly threaten national security and stability.
Politicians who are jostling for attention from the electorate and political masters are engaging in loose talk and actions to the extent of trading physical kicks and blows.
In the build-up to the 2022 General Election, Kenya has been turned into a circus by leaders who should know better than to put the country at a crossroads, recalling that the same politics led to bloodshed and mayhem just a few years back.
It seems Kenyans, and particularly politicians, forget too quickly.
In the aftermath of the 2007-08 General Election, around 1,000 Kenyans were killed and hundreds of thousands internally displaced. Many of those who died were attacked and hacked to death by their neighbours simply for belonging to a different ethnic group.
In the process, many had to flee their homes for safety in other places. To date, victims of those atrocities are yet to heal from the wounds inflicted on them. To see the country and politicians repeating the same cycle is not only shameful of them but also disheartening.
Some of the recent scenes that clearly add fuel to fire include the scuffle in Kisii at a burial ceremony where MPs Simba Arati and Sylvanus Osoro went at each other like nursery school children, in full glare of the public and mourners.
Not only were their actions disrespectful to the deceased and his kin but also to Kenyans who expect these leaders to always act with restraint. Worst of all is that the scuffle was not over a development project or livelihood issue of the people. Rather, a display of their fanatical loyalty to their political masters. It was indeed embarrassing. to say the least.
In the same incident, it is flabbergasting that when the two senior politicians for whom the fight was fought stood to speak, they did not reprimand or condemn the actions of the two fighting politicians. Instead, they chose to continue with their political contestation that can be misconstrued to mean they condone what transpired.
One would have expected that Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga would publicly denounce the actions by the MPs, but alas! That was not the case and Kenyans are left wondering what is happening to the political leadership.
While politicians continue to drive a wedge between the people, responsible institutions such as the National Cohesion and Integration Commission are only issuing empty threats and failing to exercise their mandate to strictly punish those behind inflammatory actions and utterances.
The NCIC is busy issuing press statements with little action to have leaders arrested and charged. Their indecisiveness is emboldening politicians into believing they can do what they want and get away with it.
The DCI should have by now arrested Arati and Osoro and charged them with assault and/or causing a disturbance.
While we appreciate this is the period for politicians to stand up and air their visions as leaders, this must be done with the modesty and decorum it deserves.
The reason they are called honourables is because they belong to the ‘august’ House and are representatives of the people. What they display as individuals is a reflection of those who chose them. They cannot therefore act like hooligans and rumourmongers, stirring public anger and causing unnecessary tension all in the name of politics.
The heightened political temperatures is a path Kenyans know all too well and if not handled carefully, will lead us to only death and destruction.
As a country, we cannot afford to tread this slippery slope that certainly will have far-reaching consequences for our nation.
The witnessed violent political contestations are a recipe for disaster and as a people, we should not allow politicians to drag our country down the drain. To save our country from political doomsday, we must act now and tone down the political rhetoric.
Source The Star