Commentary

Aden Duale: Hold NASA responsible for the looting and injuries during demos

Aden Duale
Aden Duale

Kenyans are hard-working people who rise up early every morning to open their businesses so that they may be able to feed their families and educate their children.

The country’s economy has been hard hit in the recent past due to unending political campaigns that have been brought about by the nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

In these hard economic times, businesses are not performing as expected, some are even closing shop.

It is therefore sad, irresponsible and quite selfish for someone to loot and destroy an investment that another person has worked so hard to build.

It is even more preposterous to do so because of politics and to protect the interests of a few people who do not care about the prosperity of this country.

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Only because

The looting of a supermarket in Kisumu by National Super Alliance (NASA) demonstrators is testimony to one thing; the alliance and its leader Raila Odinga only thrive in anarchy and chaos.

This is very selfish of NASA and a man this country considers the father of democracy.

The looters may be criminals, but these crimes would not have happened if NASA had not called its supporters to the streets in meaningless protests that are only meant to benefit a few people.

We saw Raila come out to condemn the looters and urge his supporters to demonstrate peacefully.

But Kenyans know it is not the first time such looting and destruction of property has been perpetrated by Opposition protesters.

One would therefore expect NASA to put in place measures to ensure the demos do not turn chaotic. But what do they do?

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They simply encourage their supporters to go to the streets in large numbers without any such plan, doing the same thing as always, yet expecting different results.

Saving face

The condemnation by Raila is therefore nothing more than a gimmick to save face, which exposes the Opposition as an outfit with no plan at all for anything.

It has no plan to control its supporters, no plan to achieve their demands and of course no plan to win an election.

In last Friday’s demos, someone was injured and hospitalised. Again, this is not the first time such has happened.

Many people have sustained serious injuries in these endless Opposition demos.

Even deaths have been reported. One question therefore crosses one’s mind; do the Opposition leaders pay for the hospital bills of those injured during such protests? I doubt.

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Why then would you make someone to fight for you almost to the death and you pay them nothing? I do not believe the lie that they are fighting for Kenya’s democracy.

The country is already as democratic as it should be and we cannot be made to believe that we are undemocratic because one person has perennially lost elections.

Destabilising effects

These endless protests have turned this country into a constant state of anarchy, which is a dangerous path we are taking as a people.

But it appears like NASA has an ulterior motive with the demos in the guise of fighting for reforms in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The script seems quite clear; call for constant demos during which property and businesses are destroyed and looted, businesses close shop in fear and investors shy away, shut the economy in the end and force the Government into giving in to their demands.

But Jubilee is quite aware of the script and has countered it in a way that caught the Opposition unawares. NASA never expected the ruling party to come up with amendments to the electoral laws and its plot is crumbling as they watch.

Alternative ways

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NASA leaders have been complaining about the Jubilee government entrenching negative ethnicity. On the contrary, it appears to me it is the Opposition doing so.

Look at it this way; after demonstrators have destroyed people’s property and looted businesses, Kenyans are then left discussing how people from given tribes are destroying businesses that belong to those from other tribes.

In the end, discussions on social media and in offices turn purely tribal, with everyone defending their own.

If the Opposition thinks the Government is aiding negative ethnicity, then what are they doing to reverse the trend? Protests and looting, it appears?

There definitely has to be a better way of doing things. Demos are constitutional and so are Kenyans’ rights to life and to own property.

Protests must be held in a manner that they do not infringe on the rights of people who do not support the same cause.

  Mr Duale is Garissa Town Member of Parliament

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