Let elections be battle of ideas

In Summary

• DP William Ruto's rally at Jacaranda Grounds on Sunday was disrupted by stone-throwing Azimio supporters

• The security services should apply their excellent record in intercepting terrorist attacks to stopping political violence

Ballot box
Ballot box

On Sunday, Deputy President William Ruto held a massive rally of his supporters at the Jacaranda Grounds in Nairobi. Unfortunately the rally was disrupted by stone-throwing Azimio supporters and many people were injured.

The August 9 election is now just six weeks away and tension is mounting, especially as the two main candidates are running neck and neck in the opinion polls.

It is vital that violence is avoided after the election results are announced, so we need to set the stage with a peaceful run-up to August 9.

The violence at Jacaranda fracas was avoidable. Assuming it was not organised by the so-called 'deep state', the police and intelligence services should have pre-empted the disruption.

The National Intelligence Service does a superb job in intercepting terrorist attacks. The NIS is therefore capable of anticipating political violence from either side at rallies.

Similarly, the police should not be just reactive, as at Jacaranda. They should be proactive and manage events so that rowdy rivals are stopped in advance before they can cause trouble.

Election campaigns should be based on the battle of ideas and policies, not on brute force and muscle.

Quote of the day: "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."

Niccolò Machiavelli
The Italian political strategist died on June 21, 1527

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