Leaders should avert divisive confrontations

A looming confrontation between the government and opposition camps during the June 1 Madaraka Day celebrations is a step in the wrong direction. So is the talk about holding parallel events on that day.

This divisive show is the last thing the country needs. Politicians have let down the people, who expect them to provide the right leadership to navigate through national challenges.

Madaraka is an important day on the national calendar, which commemorates the day, in 1963, when Kenya attained internal self-rule from the British, having suffered exploitation and persecution as a colony since 1920. It should, thus, be an occasion to feel proud about breaking the colonial chains through a gallant struggle waged by the Mau Mau freedom fighters to become a republic on December 12, 1964.

Parallel fetes and anti-government demonstrations will rekindle the political tension that had eased after President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga reached out to each other for talks to resolve the national standoff.

It is unbelievable that the leaders on both sides of the political divide could have forgotten so soon that the last round of protests resulted in several deaths and wanton destruction of property. No Kenyans of goodwill would wish to see the country return there. True leadership should guide the country along the right path to national stability and prosperity.

The Odinga-led Azimio coalition accused President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance government of lack of sincerity and goodwill to forge ahead with bipartisan talks to resolve the national crisis. The issues in contention are the reconstitution of the electoral body, increasingly high cost of living, proposed heavy taxation and demands for the opening of the IEBC servers for an audit of last year’s presidential election result.

Holding parallel rallies is a sure recipe for violence. The leaders in the rival camps should help to avert mayhem. Violence will not benefit anyone. All must put the nation before their partisan interests as unity and stability are goals to strive for.