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BLOG: Elections will come and go, but our dear Kenya is here to stay

The vibrant manner in which the political class is spearheading the ongoing mass voter registration drive seems to herald the dawn of a new era in the country.

It manifests an unusual quest to have all qualified Kenyan voters exercise their democratic right to choose their leaders in the August 8 general elections.

But as the voters’ register continues to grow, a rather unfortunate scenario is slowly rearing its ugly head, almost unnoticed.

The past week has seen political bigwigs spew insults and make reckless, unsubstantiated statements that directly threaten peace.

Words that directly incite people to violence have become synonymous with the rallies.

Some naïve supporters have borrowed leaf and treated leaders of parties they don’t subscribe to with rare hostility across the country.

BURNING MERCHANDISE

This is not to mention the intolerance symbolized by the burning of other parties’ merchandise and pulling down of bill boards.

These are tell-tale signs of a people with short memories hurtling to self-destruction. The 2007/2008 post-election violence remains very fresh in our minds.

We are all aware that whether in the opposition or government, no one is spared the pain when such deadly anarchy reigns.

The tombs, scars and tears born out of the violence must always remind us there can be no winner in bloody clashes.

There can be no winner in a conflict where relatives and friends are helplessly massacred while investments built over decades of sweat and patience vanishes in a flash.

COEXISTENCE

It is thus incumbent upon every right-thinking Kenyan, whether a leader or ordinary citizen, whether supporting Jubilee or NASA, to preach peaceful coexistence.

Let us appreciate the diversity of our opinions and realize that nursing different political persuasions is our strength and not a reason for conflict.

The leaders should focus on mobilizing their supporters to register, and subsequently vote, as opposed to war mongering.

Kenyans should equally reject and speak out against leaders who stoke violence whenever they sense defeat in a fair political contest.

Elections will come and go, but our dear home Kenya is here to stay; we will need it after August 2017. We might hail from diverse ethnic backgrounds, but we remain one people, and one country.