The unfolding political scenario is worrisome. Tension is building up as various political formations criss-cross the country to mobilise for or against the proposed constitutional review. Yet, as we have argued before, the debate should not polarise the country and create the animosity we are witnessing.
If the trend continues, things will worsen when the country gets into a proper election mode next year. The elections may be acrimonious and cause anarchy. Recently, chaos broke out in Baringo County as Members of the County Assembly debated the BBI Bill. Days earlier, MPs fought in public in Kisii.
The country has gone through horrible experiences in the past and similar situations should never recur. The violence, deaths and dispossession that followed the 2007/2008 elections were traumatic. Having gone through that harrowing experience, the country learnt the hard way.
Paradoxically, the division is centred around the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), whose objective was to create harmony and end the perennial and cyclic election violence.
The problem with BBI is that it is tied to the presidential transition due next year. It has raised the stakes and brought out the worst in our political scene.
In the mix of this is internal rivalry within the ruling Jubilee coalition, which is split down the middle with rival camps revolving around President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Dr William Ruto. This has created paralysis in government — a big blow to the Jubilee administration, which can no longer deliver on its election promises.
We ask the political leaders to cool down the temperatures. The country should go through the BBI debate peacefully. Difference in opinion does not mean physical combat and rivalry. Government agencies, including the police, must also act professionally and avoid partisan actions.