- What we should demand of the political elite is for them to deliver on their promises.
- We have the power and legal instruments to hold them to account.
The decision by the leaderships of both the ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance and the Opposition Azimio la Umoja coalition to hold talks on key issues that have been catalysing violence in the name of maandano is much welcome.
It is a demonstration of statesmanship and patriotism by President William Ruto and Opposition leader former prime minister Raila Amollo Odinga. Their move to place the country above their personal interests and those of their supporters is laudable.
Once again, Kenyans have shown that despite their political persuasions and other socioeconomic challenges, they can rise to the occasion and embrace the tenets of democracy.
While some may say it has come too late after the needless loss of lives, destruction of property and disruption of economic re-engineering, it is a welcome move. It is never too late for sobriety to prevail, especially after an emotive and hotly contested electioneering such as ours.
We have been here before and sobered up for the sake of peace, unity, national cohesion and economic development.
It was encouraging to see representatives of the political protagonists, President Ruto and Raila, trooping to the venue of the talks at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday, August 9, in an upbeat mood and vowing to hammer a peace and political deal for the good of the country.
Hopefully, this will be the last of the post-poll anxieties that Kenya will ever be subjected to. The frequent post-poll violence makes a mockery of democracy.
The five-a-side deliberations co-chaired by former vice-president Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, who is also the the Wiper Democratic Movement leader and Kikuyu MP and National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung'wah will bear fruit.
The hopes of Kenyans of goodwill, friends of Kenya and a keen international community are pinned on the Bomas talks to exorcise the demon of political uncertainty that has been stalking us since the August 2022 general election.
Hats off to Raila for climbing down from his erstwhile hardline political stance and giving dialogue a chance. His decision did not certainly go down well with the political hawks in his Azimio ranks but he has demonstrated leadership. This, too, is true on the President's Kenya Kwanza side.
All Kenyans should give the negotiating team the space to confront contentious issues and resolve them. We need to get back to our business of fixing the myriad socioeconomic challenges, especially the cost of living and food insecurity.
We can begin to recast our eyes and thoughts to a better tomorrow knowing that the perennial political contestations, however, acrimonious often end in a truce and we are left to our own devices as they move on. It is important to come to the bitter realisation that the ordinary citizen is often a political pawn in the power contest matrix. The sooner we do, the better it will be. That time is now!
What we should demand of the political elite is for them to deliver on their promises. We have the power and legal instruments to hold them to account. And because they know this, and that is why they engage us in needless and costly power games to our detriment.
As the constitutionally elected fifth president of the Republic of Kenya, Ruto, is the leader of Kenyans and that is what it will be for the next four years before we can again audit his performance in the 2027 polls.
I commend him for vowing to serve all Kenyans regardless of how they voted. That is true democracy.
In the spirit of democracy, the Kalonzo-Ichungwa-led teams must rise above their political insularities and deliver a peace deal. We wish all the best as they steer the talks.
Kalonzo is a tried-and-tested diplomat extraordinaire who has over the years climbed over insurmountable labyrinths to deliver peace on the African continent. He now has a chance to cement his credential at home. Ichungwa, too, is young and should care about the country's future.
My advice is to whom much is given, much is expected. Their leaders and Kenyans have trusted the ladies and gentlemen at the Bomas with political destiny, and much is expected from them; a lasting peace deal!
It is not the time to pontificate on who is right. Their work and mandate is to identify what is good for our country. Sanity must prevail. That is what will guarantee our country's prosperity. The future of generations to come must be safeguarded today. We cannot afford to be reckless and get it wrong at this time because of we do, posterity will judge us harshly.
Former president of the Football Kenya Federation