Post-Election Violence victims decry current polarisation

Monday, August 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Internally Displaced Persons Patron Peter Tena addresses the press yesterday. 2007/08 PEV victims have warned against polarisation. Photo/PD/ROY LUMBE

Post-Election Violence (PEV) victims in the country have warned that continued polarisation of the masses by the nation’s top leaders, risks sliding the country to tribal skirmishes.

Speaking in Nakuru, the victims under the aegis of Kenya Internally Displaced Persons Organisation - said it was evident the masses were being incited against each other.

The organisation’s patron Peter Tena urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to revisit the 2013 Afraha Stadium declaration where he vowed there will never be violence as a result of elections.

Tena said in the Rift Valley, several counties have been mapped out as violence hotspots saying any kind of trigger will surely divide and cause irreversible chaos.

“The President is a symbol of unity and he needs work to bring all sides together and have a national conversation,” said Tena.

He said the President and his deputy should be able to solve their differences as early as possible to avoid other leaders from using the same to incite locals.

On her part, Ruth Wanjera; another victim  said there was a need for leaders to reason together to avoid plunging the country to a repeat of the 2007/08 post-election violence.

In particular, Wanjera said the frosty relationship between the president and his deputy was capable of reversing the gains of peace in the region.

“We would not love this standoff to prolong, it is slowly but surely sending locals to tribal cocoons and it may spell doom for us,” said Wanjera.

According to her, the President needs to have a meeting with his deputy and iron out their contentious issues to avoid dividing the country further.

She pointed out that the country especially the Rift Valley region, has witnessed growing tension which she says if not tamed, will burn the country.

“We know they are human beings and can disagree, however, what they have forgotten is that they have supporters who may turn rogue,” she added.

Constructive politics

Pastor Harrison Kariuki while lauding the government’s efforts in assisting the 2007/08 PEV victims, he said it was evident that leaders were beating drums of war.

According to him, it was unfortunate that the country was slowly being divided into tribal and regional lines, insisting that the country needs peace and constructive politics to develop and grow.

“Whatever that is happening in government is not great and we need to ensure that we manage the situation to avoid further division ahead of next year’s polls,” said Kariuki.

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