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“Will political cease fire be good for Kenya?”
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“Will political cease fire be good for Kenya?”

Recent talk of a political alliance has raised questions, writes Paul Odhiambo, 29, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nairobi in Kenya, with some seeing it as good news and others worried about the implications.

On Friday 9th March 2018 the leader of National Super Alliance (NASA), Rt. Honourable Raila Amollo Odinga met with President Uhuru Kenyatta to end political tension in Kenya.

However, their cease-fire has raised numerous questions.

It is not clear what forces President Kenyatta and the People’s president, Raila Amollo Odinga to bury their political differences. Some Kenyans perceive it as a political betrayal, while others believe it means good for Kenyans.

A group of Kenyans who believe it is a political betrayal based their arguments on the failure of Rt. Honourable Raila Odinga to consult other NASA co-principals. Moreover, the self-proclaimed leader of National Resistance Movement Kenya (NRMKe), Dr. Miguna Miguna was not aware of the meeting. Although he swore in Honourable Raila Odinga on 30th January 2018 as the People’s president, he only learned about the meeting through the media.

Dr. Miguna Miguna’s action on this day led to his arrest and deportation to Canada, even though he is a Kenyan citizen by birth. In most of his social media posts, he stands for liberation of Kenyan political injustices. This why he jumped on Honourable Raila Odinga’s bandwagon after last year’s presidential election, which was later nullified by the Kenyan Supreme Court on 1st September 2017.

After the meeting of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Honourable Odinga, Dr. Miguna Miguna, via his social accounts rejected the reconciliation. He made strong allegations against Mr. Odinga, the ethos of impunity, and the outrageous abuse of human rights. Therefore, according to Miguna Miguna and other Kenyans, a true reunion of Kenyans should not only involve two leaders shaking hands, but should aim at building an unbiased and equal community ruled by the rule of law, respect of human rights, and a society without tribalism and corruption.

The other group of Kenyans believes the meeting was good for the Kenyan economy. The meeting came at a time when the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr.  Henry Rotich, had earlier stated that Kenya is broke. Furthermore, it coincided with the visit of the then-United States Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Wayne Tillerson, to Kenya. Did the visit of Mr. Tillerson to Kenya or the economy prompt the meeting between meeting President Kenyatta and Honorable Raila Odinga? Mr. Tillerson first visited North Korea, which is also experiencing political intolerance, then traveled to Kenya. Is there a relationship between the former Secretary of State’s visit to North Korea and Kenya? These are questions Kenyans are still pondering.  Even if the majority of Kenyans does not know why President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga met after their long-term political differences, their meeting is likely to boost the Kenyan economy. If Rt. Honourable Odinga continued the fight for electoral justice, the Kenyan economy could have been worse.

As the former president of the United States of America George W. Bush once stated, “I understand everybody in this country doesn’t agree with the decisions I’ve made. And I made some tough decisions. But people know where I stand.”

Bush’s statement best describes Mr. Odinga’s current position. Honourable Odinga’s supporters may not agree with his decision at the moment. However, a greater percentage of his supporters often knows him as a fighter for common citizens. Hence, he always makes decisions that benefit common citizens. So, with time, a section of Kenyans who believe he betrayed them will fathom why he drastically made a decision to reconcile with President Uhuru Kenya.

Nevertheless, will this reunion once and for all solve electoral injustices in Kenya?  This is not the first time Honourable Raila Odinga is joining leaders from the ruling party to work together. He did it during the tenure of the former President of Kenya, Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, but this did not end electoral injustices. Let Kenyans hope for the best from this cessation of political hostilities, because it is good for Kenyans. It may not solve all the problems Kenyans are facing, but as we know the journey for a just community is long, and only brave men and women reach its destination. Kenyans are in the right direction. We are united for a common good.

Photo credit: Aidan Jones Handshake via photopin (license)
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About me: I am an industrial chemist and aspiring entrepreneur. I am interested in green chemistry, environmental conservation, good governance, entrepreneurship, chemistry, biochemistry and good education.

I believe if government and different organizations give an opportunity to youths, they can transform their lives and their communities. In many occasions, youths have been considered as needy and hopeless; therefore, they are not allowed to contribute to national matters. However, they are the people who know their problems.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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