Stop beating war drums lest we relive pogrom of 2007-08 - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Stop beating war drums lest we relive pogrom of 2007-08

 

That the monster of political intolerance has reared its ugly talons head hardly three years after the ‘Handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM supremo Raila Odinga is regrettable and must be condemned by all.

The brawling by politicians witnessed in the recent past points to the confrontational nature of our politics. It’s like hooliganism and gangsterism have become part and parcel of our politics and we don’t learn any lessons.

On instructions of moneyed politicians, Kenyan youths seem ready to pay any price for political violence— including shedding blood and losing their lives. It’s sickening, to say the least.

Politicians, who are sadly called ‘leaders’, are at it again, dividing Kenyans along party, ethnic, tribal, class and other lines.

Deaths and bloodshed

If unchecked, these divisions will soon get out of hand and we will all pay the price. Big and sad lessons have to be drawn the 2007-08 post election violence.

In the end, more than 1,133 people died and 650,000 others displaced. We are yet to recover from this catastrophe, with some internally displaced persons still crying out for resettlement.

The deaths and bloodshed served as a wake-up call.

Defenders and critics alike agree that the turmoil not only targeted the nation’s people but also our ideals and values — the Kenyan way of life.

Political intolerance 

Our social fabric, for instance, was stretched beyond limit and today, there are still pockets of mistrust and suspicion among communities that clashed.

At any rate, the chaos offered the most horrendous illustration of a country on the brink of collapse. In the run-up to the 2022 polls, there is a high risk that political intolerance will breed several militia groups.

Criminalisation of political rallies is on the rise and those likely to suffer most are disadvantaged fringes of both the urban and rural youth.

Groups like Mungiki, Taliban and Baghdad Boys could be on the resurgence and unless police arrest this situation now, we may lose this war. The time to act is now.

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