In Summary

• Politicians most not manipulate youths to engage in violence. Both must be punished according to law.

•We never want to see a repeat of the 2007-08 post-election violence.

 

Raila's chopper was attacked on Friday, April 1, in Uasin Gishu
STONED: Raila's chopper was attacked on Friday, April 1, in Uasin Gishu
Image: JUNET MOHAMED

The Friday attack at which former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's chopper was stoned in Uasin Gishu county has heightened tension. 

Social media is awash with virulent exchanges between his supporters and those of DP William Ruto to an extent that if they came face to face, blows and kicks would fly.

The attack on Raila, a previous attack on Ruto and any other attack on campaigning politicians must not be condoned, but condemned. 

Kenya has taken the path of violence before and the outcome was devastating.

In the 2007-08 PEV, more than 1,100 people were killed, hundreds of thousands displaced, hard-earned property reduced to ashes. Today, many are still traumatised.

Political leaders must be at the forefront in educating their supporters that elections are not a matter of life and death.

Fortunately, police reacted swiftly to the Uasin Gishu incident and today, 17 suspects are expected to appear in court.

The swift response should, however, not be selective, and perpetrators must be ruthlessly dealt with, according to law, irrespective of tribe or party.

Parties or politicians whose supporters engage in criminal activities must be fined heavily or suspended for a specific period from holding rallies. If they are behind the violence, they must be held to account.

Elections come and go, but Kenya remains.

 

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