• In growing democracies, candidates from different political parties are left to campaign freely without any fear of being attacked.
• If every part of the country would now be regarded as a certain leader's ‘bedroom’, no ‘outsider’ would be allowed to set foot there.
The manner in which violence and mayhem marred the just concluded Kibra by-election is a clear indication that democratic ideals are still a pipe dream in Kenya.
In growing democracies, candidates from different political parties are left to campaign freely without any fear of being attacked and voters are the ones to decide on the nature of leaders to elect at the end of the day without any intimidation or violence.
But what was witnessed in Kibra is a clear indication that democracy and unity are still far from being achieved in the country despite the recent handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga that claims to create a united country free from tribalism and negative ethnicity.
It is now clear that the handshake has nothing to do with the unity and reconciliation among Kenyans but an avenue to advance personal interests among some leaders. Surprisingly, when the violence was being meted on Jubilee leaders Didmus Baraza and Bonny Khalwale among others, police officers were just watching from a distance.
But the worst part of it is that MP Simba Arati who was seen engaging the leaders in a verbal altercation before some goons descended on them has not been arrested. Kenyans now claim that Arati has not been arrested because he hails from the same community as Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and the fact that he is ‘politically correct since he is supporting the handshake’. The truth is that justice is now being selectively applied in the country.
To avert a repeat of what was witnessed, Matiang’i must bring to book the perpetrators of the violence. There should be no discrimination in service delivery to Kenyans irrespective of their ethnic or political affiliations.