African Press International (API)

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Posted by African Press International on October 30, 2007

The weekend violence meted to Raila Odinga and his ODM entourage in the larger Meru districts as he campaigned for presidency is very unfortunate! The same goes to the violence which erupted in Dagoretti constituency during a rally organized by immediate former Dagoretti MP Beth Mugo when rival PNU aspirant’s supporters tried to disrupt it.

It matters little who you support and whom you don’t when leaders or whatever other shade of personality comes knocking for votes. To throw stones, disrupt the rally or heckle and all forms of political mediocrity is quite preposterous. What Raila faced in Meru is no different from what Nazir Umar faced in Kisumu a while ago, nor different with what Stanley Livodo faced in Kibera a short while ago. But all these actions are highly condemnable and primitive to say the least.

Plenty of reasons are available to support this kind of argument.
Raila, Kibaki, Kalonzo, Muiru and all other Kenyan political
contenders have every right to visit any part of Kenya any time any day. Who even said that a Luhya for instance cannot contest for even a parliamentary or civic seat in Murang’a, who said a Kikuyu cannot do the same in Bondo? Who said a Kisii cannot contest in Turkana or a Kalenjin contest in Malindi? Who on earth said a Meru cannot contest in Kericho or a Maasai in Kitui? So long as any of these and other varieties can meet the requisite electoral minimum conditions they have every right as Kenyans to contest anywhere.

For that matter Raila has a right to visit Othaya, Muranga, Chuka, Meru, Maua, Nyeri, Kirinyiga, Embu and Kiambu and so on, despite being President Kibaki traditional strongholds. Indeed Raila should make a point of visiting those areas not long after the violence prone tour of the region over the weekend. He should even do so tomorrow! The thuggery experienced cannot have been spontaneous. Some politicians
and their operatives must have been involved in these despicable acts.

Indeed it was reported in the media that a head teacher in a school in Meru is so worried that he maybe sacked because Raila’s entourage helicopter landed in his school. Any administrator who may attempt to even point a finger at this honourable teacher should be the first to
go. That is Stone Age thinking!

President Kibaki for instance has every right to campaign in any
corner of the Kenyan republic. And he deserves to be respected as a presidential contender and as head of state. Even the day he will leave office, he deserves maximum respect for having ruled Kenya and having made a lot of contribution to the Kenyan nation. He deserves respect whether in office and the day he leaves office whatever that time will be.

Raila, Kalonzo and Muiru also do deserve freedom to visit anywhere and deserve respect and protection. They also have a right to rule and govern Kenya if they so become head of state. What the thuggery formentors and their hoodlums forget is that should say Raila become head of state he will rule them and they will have no choice but to abide by the law else they risk jail or be confined to political oblivion.

Anybody at this day and age thinking of balkanizing Kenya or zoning it for that matter is just foolish. Leaders will come and go but Kenya remains. What the hecklers and other forms of hoodlums do also forget is that they are just hirelings and forget that they are just objects for hire for some myopic short term gains for some short sighted politicians. They risk their lives for people whose interests far much override their own if at all they have any. What a shameful state!

ikunda9.jpg< By Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda, API/APN correspondent
Nairobi, Kenya.

Published by API/APN tel +4793299739 or +4763002525

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