Ruto, Raila should lead honest return to talks

Political leaders' commitment to honest talks to sort out sticky national issues has been broadly called into question.

It would appear last month's ceasefire between President William Ruto and Opposition chief Raila Odinga was merely a lull before a storm.

The Opposition returned to the streets on Monday in a renewed bid to pile pressure on the government side to yield to its demands touching on, among other things, the cost of living and electoral reforms.

The government, on the other hand, has vowed demonstrations will not be allowed, terming them a dangerous blackmail that has badly hurt the economy.

It is clear the political temperatures will continue rising at a heavy cost.

On Tuesday, two vehicles were torched as violence rocked pockets of the Nairobi and other cities. Azimio and Kenya Kwanza sides have put blame squarely on each other, with the former alleging a scheme by the State to use goons to cause havoc then quickly blame it on opposition supporters.

These sideshows have continued despite the rising desperation among Kenyans, who face tough times occasioned by endemic challenges like unemployment and the high cost of living.

Needless to say, the tensions and political violence are a real threat, and have to be avoided from all fronts to secure the country's socio-economic health.

Truth is, ordinary Kenyans desire an amicable solution to the issues at hand. At this point in time, however, we fear that what's lacking is the will. The two sides are glued to other interests and not the stability of the nation.

We remind Ruto and Raila that nothing will ever be resolved with the ongoing protests, tough talk and police action. They should call their troops to order and rein in those hell-bent on rocking the bipartisan talks.

Again, the opposition should not underestimate the true cost of their protests. The State, too, must be alive to the fact that it bears a greater responsibility for the direction things will take. A quick return to dialogue will suffice.