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Let's embrace Uhuru-Raila truce to break cycle of electoral violence

By JUSTIN KIMANI | Published Sat, April 14th 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 13th 2018 at 22:53 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga

President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga painstakingly put aside their differences for the common good of the country. Their sacrifice should be embraced by all for peace to take root.

The two have further demonstrated their resolve to the noble course by exercising restraint on the Miguna Miguna citizenship row. Our Constitution requires us to be patriotic to our country wherever we are.

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We are also expected to demonstrate to the world, wherever we are, our pride and not guilt or shame of our country of origin whatever the status. Those who cannot live up to those obligations are outcasts and are not welcome to the reconciliation and peace building efforts, since theirs is ill bound.

The Constitution provides for the right to life, human dignity, freedom, security and freedom of expression, among others. These provisions must not be abused by those who have benefited from them at the expense of others. They must be used for the common good of all, not hiding behind them, in the name of human rights.

In the interest of reconciliation and peace building adopted by the leaders, perceptions are paramount in nurturing the process. The decisions each of the three arms of government make, should reflect national and not sectional interests.

The laws and policies of the land, for example, should be interpreted and applied in the right context. They should take into account the effect they have on all Kenyans.

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 The case of Miguna, before Justice George Odunga, for example, is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as serving a sectional interest. The perception does not aid the reconciliation and peace building initiated by the leaders. All well-meaning Kenyans should, therefore, desist from making provocative and sensational statements that might undermine peace efforts.

Let us give diplomacy a chance to sustain the reconciliatory and peace building gesture. Dismissing the reconciliation as a futile mission is enslaving ourselves to primitive history of the periodic election episodes which have seen the country slide into chaos.

 There cannot be transformative changes from Raila and Kenyatta alone. We must join hands in breaking the conflict cycle that has afflicted this country year in year out. This will prevent us from joining the league of countries which have been torn by violent conflicts.   FCS Justin Kimani

 

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