Please put the interest of the country first

Mass Action

Kisumu residents poured into Kisumu streets in their thousands in their second mass action that had been sanctioned by the Azimio la Umoja Coalition leader Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: Rushdie Oudia | Nation Media Group

There is a saying that when two bulls fight, the grass suffers the most, or when parents fight, it is the children who bear the brunt.

The grandstanding by both President William Ruto and the Opposition side led by Azimio leader Raila Odinga should come to an end as it is hurting Kenyans.

Both President Ruto and the former Prime Minister should sit down and engage as leaders! After all, Kenyans voted for Ruto and Raila in their millions.

In 2007, after President Mwai Kibaki and Raila realised that some of their key allies had taken hardline stances, they left the grandstanders and headed to Kilaguni Lodge for one-on-one talks. It was from these talks that Kofi Annan announced that “We finally have a deal”.

The demonstrations held on Monday, March 20, crippled Nairobi, the economic base of Kenya and affected Kisumu and parts of Migori counties.

Raila’s declaration that demonstrations will be held every Monday until they have an agreement with the Kenya Kwanza government could further cripple the economy. 

People will suffer and the government will be denied revenue, which it collects through various channels.

Kenya has distinguished itself as the hub of business in the region and a gateway to East and Central Africa, with many countries having their high commissions and embassies here. 

In fact, residents of many countries in the region seek visa services through Kenya.

The cost of living is already high and the weakening Kenyan shilling, which has been trading at 140 to the US dollar, continues to pile pressure on the cost of living.

Ruto was declared the winner and the Supreme Court upheld his win. Raila has refused to accept the results.

There is also the dispute over the selection of the next electoral agency team, with the opposition complaining that the playing field is far from level.

Church taken sides

Church leaders, who should ideally be mediating talks, have apparently taken sides.

The police officers who had been deployed in Nairobi, Kisumu and Migori would have been put to better use, perhaps in bandit-hit areas.

Dear Mr President, for the sake of Kenya, hold talks with Raila. If it’s setting up the office of the leader of the opposition, let him have it. 

Of course, those surrounding the two leaders will put their interests first but, for the sake of Kenya, all should put their interests aside. 

Likewise, dear Raila, please note that the economy is hurting. We need not throw Kenya to the dogs.

All the youths that joined the Monday demonstrations point to the high level of joblessness in Kenya. Should this trend be allowed to continue, even the police will not be able to manage them.

Phillip Ouma Orwa, Nairobi