What you need to know:
- The violence after the bungled 2007 elections that nearly pushed the country to the abyss was the worst.
- We are yet to recover fully from it.
- Now, politicians have started reckless talks of election fixing.
Elections are highly emotive in this country. Since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1991, every election cycle, except 2002, has been characterised by violence, either before or after.
The violence after the bungled 2007 elections that nearly pushed the country to the abyss was the worst. We are yet to recover fully from it.
It is for this reason that after prolonged violent fights following the rancorous 2017 General Election, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga entered a truce and undertook to build bridges, root for peace and end the serial cycles of chaos. We are not out of the woods yet.
Now, politicians have started reckless talks of election fixing. A couple of days ago, East African Legislative Assembly Member Oburu Odinga, the elder brother to Raila, stirred the hornets’ nest with some careless statement.
He reckoned that Raila, a four-time loser, was assured of winning the presidential election in 2022 because this time round, he was assured of the backing of the “Deep State”.
That the government machinery would work to ensure he bags the ultimate prize. Quite thoughtless and insensitive remark by a veteran politician.
This week, Deputy President William Ruto, who has declared his interest in the presidency took the gauntlet and challenged that assertion. And this was not the first time he also talked about the Deep State.
Essentially, what these political leaders are telling us is that elections are never won at the ballot; that there are shadowy characters who sit in some corners and manipulate the results, thus disenfranchising voters. This is appalling and sends very dangerous signals to the public.
Who is this Deep State? Who controls it? Who are the members?
These infantile remarks serve to poison the political environment and provide fertile ground for electoral violence. We detest such thoughtlessness and call out the leaders to stop the imprudence.