Let us forgive and restore hope in a peaceful nation
It could not have come at a better time. The National Prayer Day, which culminated with State House prayers on Saturday, was profound in its timing and significance.
With political temperatures rising by the day, and dichotomy between the two Jubilee Party factions widening, Kenyans are foreseeing a repeat of past events that would rather be buried and forgotten.
Many politicians have made remarks that demeaned their rivals and left a trickle-over effect on their supporters.
This is the time politicians should stop reckless pronouncements in the guise of campaigning for favourite leaders.
They are only widening the chasm among followers and their leaders.
The so-called Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga wings of the ruling coalition are pulling in different directions at a time when citizens are complaining about service delivery and expecting the government to lead in fighting Covid-19 and other problems facing the nation.
The cost of living is rising, courtesy of the pandemic, which has visited unimaginable effects on the people – loss of business opportunities, job losses, deaths, and early pregnancies among students, among others.
Yet our leaders are tearing one another and preparing their charges for what looks like the mother of all political battles, which appears destined to reduce 2007/8 post-election violence to a Sunday school picnic.
In one of his last media interviews after brokering a peace deal between Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s Inkatha Freedom Party and the Nelson Mandela-led African National Congress in the then fragile South Africa, the late Professor Washington Jalang’o Okumu said he saw the hand of God in mechanical problems that forced Buthelezi’s plane to return to Johannesburg’s then Jan Smuts International Airport.
This was a divine intervention, which Prof Okumu seized to remind Buthelezi of some bitter global historical facts, of which they both were very much cognisant, having jointly participated in many political hot spots around the world. He caved in and the rest is history.
I want to risk the tag of a devil’s advocate by stating here that our leaders must avert a not-too-dissimilar scenario in our nation.
The fires being lit are sending ominous signs of a major conflagration ahead of 2022 elections, which our leaders and like-minded peaceful citizens must douse right away. And it should have started with the national prayers held last weekend.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has set the pace by asking for forgiveness from whoever he might have wronged.
Let other key players on our political stage follow suit. We must uphold peace for the sake our country and future.
Jubilee leaders realised that ODM party leader Raila Odinga had a massive following around the country, hence the handshake between him and President Kenyatta.
The two leaders and major players should also accept that Deputy President William Ruto, despite his apparent rebellious tendencies and not playing by the Jubilee rule book, is a major player on the political stage.
It is during such times as national prayers that the DP must be brought on board to help cure Kenya and forge a united and peaceful nation.
The DP’s many followers and supporters around the country are getting agitated.
The nation may not handle the effects that these utterances and political activities are portending.
When the centre cannot hold, things will fall apart despite all the good intentions by a section of the political elite. - The writer is a journalist who comments on topical issues. [email protected]