(IN)TOLERANCE

Tribes aside, DP, we're all human

In Summary

• If Ruto cannot 'entertain' other Kenyans as the DP, how can he lead them if he becomes President?.

• To the best of my knowledge, Kenya has no second-class citizens as this leader would have us believe.

ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto
FRIENDS OR FOES? ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto
Image: FILE

I admire him because he was a true leader who put his country above personal exploits. He relentlessly pursued peace during the Cold War, which cast a dark cloud over Europe after World War II.

The 34th President of the United States, Dwight D Eisenhower, ruled America from 1953 to 1961. As he prepared to exit the White House, he was proud of his legacy and did not hide his joy when he said; “America is today the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world.”

Eisenhower, just like his South African counterpart Nelson Mandela, was a peace seeker.

Can we say the same of some of our leaders who are busy crisscrossing the country preaching disunity as they harangue other communities with stereotypes?

This past few days, social media has been abuzz with reactions from Kenyans of all works of life condemning Deputy President William Ruto after he was captured on video throwing epithets at a particular community for no reason at all.

To the best of my knowledge, Kenya has no second-class citizens as this leader would have us believe.

Ruto's unfortunate sentiments border on incitement. He should settle his beef with Raila and leave his community alone. The DP should have the courage to face Uhuru and ask him why he agreed to shake Raila's hand.

In the video, he loudly asks why this community should be "entertained". Ruto's unfortunate tirade against a section of Kenya was uncalled for and should be treated with the contempt it deserves. We don't need leaders who have chosen to rock this fragile boat called Kenya to satisfy their bigotry and shallow inhibitions.

Why would a leader who seeks to be the next CEO of Kenya in 2022 pour such vitriol when his boss is busy mending the leaking boat? What is his objective?

The 2017 heavily contested election caused a lot of pain and sorrow to a section of Kenyans. Hundreds fell by the bullet targeted at peaceful demonstrators seeking justice following a bungled vote.

As they protested, calling out the IEBC for carrying out a sham election, the police showered them with bullets leaving them dead on the streets.

Children were bludgeoned or shot at close range by deranged police officers who had express orders to shoot not because the targets were demonstrating but because they were largely drawn from a particular community.

From Kisumu to Nairobi's streets, the country was drenched in blood thanks to excessive force by the security agencies.

Some demonstrators were purposely run over by motorists who believed they were superior to the Kenyans demonstrating in the quest for genuine democracy. Some were brutally shot and their bodies thrown into Lake Victoria.

The second election in 2017 did little to heal the wounds caused by the first election that was dramatically nullified by the Supreme Court because it was clearly was not free and fair.

That is why the mayhem of bloodshed continued unabated putting asunder a country forever living on the edge of the sword.

A section of visionless and blood-thirsty politicians thrived during the demonstrations, which led to a stagnated economy. They hoped they would use the chaos to their own advantage and propel themselves to power in 2022.

This was not to be as the rug was literally pulled from under their feet. The handshake took them by surprise as true Kenyan leaders—opposition leader Raila Odinga and a remorseful President Uhuru Kenyatta—became champions of peace in a hopelessly divided country.

The leaders have continuously opposed the Building Bridges Initiative propped up by Raila and Uhuru in March last year.

They have briefly detoured from attacking Raila for "causing rifts and camps" in the ruling Jubilee party to dragging a whole community into the handshake shenanigans.

If Ruto cannot "entertain" other Kenyans as the DP, how can he lead them if he becomes President of the Republic of Kenya?

Politicians must desist from using public platforms to light bonfires of hate and derogate others.

Ruto's unfortunate sentiments border on incitement. He should settle his beef with Raila and leave his community alone. The DP should have the courage to face Uhuru and ask him why he agreed to shake Raila's hand.

This habit of circumventing issues does not help.