In Summary

  • It is becoming a sad statement of our national psyche that every election cycle is followed by violence and mayhem.
  • Some people have resorted to criminal activities, threatening others or looting under the disguise of protesting vote loss.
  • National Super Alliance leadership has an obligation to guide and socialise their supporters to avoid the violence.

Sporadic violence that has hit parts of the country following the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the presidential vote must be brought to an end immediately.

It is becoming a sad statement of our national psyche that every election cycle is followed by violence and mayhem. We must reverse this trend.

The violence is taking a heavy toll on the nation. Already, reports indicate that some people have been killed.

Business is paralysed in Nairobi and other towns. People are marooned in their homes.

Transport has been disrupted in some places and food supplies are dwindling.

Tension is in the air and people are unsure of their security. Unless quick action is taken, things are likely to get out of hand.

CHOICES

Elections are about choices; candidates win or lose. And people have a right to celebrate when they win or protest to express their disappointment if they lose. But losing does not mean people have to fight. What is happening is wrong.

Some people have resorted to criminal activities, threatening others or looting under the disguise of protesting vote loss.

Also, reports abound of police using excessive force, in some cases breaking into homes, and beating up innocent citizens in the guise of dispersing rogue crowds. All these must stop.

The government, through Acting Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i, has pledged to quell the riots and return the country to normalcy.

Protecting life and property is a constitutional duty of the State and it must use whatever means within the law to do that.

However, cases have been reported of police brutality, which goes against the law and human rights.

VIOLENCE

It is unacceptable for the police to invade homes, as we have seen, in urban slums and torture residents and explain it away so casually that they are tackling looters and criminals.

Dr Matiang’i, who has stridently denied the reports, needs to investigate these and take quick action. Such acts aggravate matters and spur further violence.

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