African Press International (API)

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The saying goes, When two bulls fight, the grass suffers

Posted by African Press International on January 18, 2008

When two bulls fight, goes the old saying; it is the grass that suffers. The grass here is the ordinary people of Kenya who have been reduced to expendable cannon fodder as the rich and powerful duel for political supremacy.

As witnessed Wednesday, it would be extremely myopic for anyone to imagine that the tension that has rocked Kenya since the disputed presidential election will disappear of its own accord. The nationwide series of protest rallies called by ODM may not have been a success if measured against the simple yardstick of massive crowds gathering and being addressed by their leaders. But then that was never quite the intention anyway. The fact is that as long as ODM keeps up its programme of mass action, normal life will be severely affected.

The disruption to education, commerce, industry, agriculture and almost other economic and social facet is really incalculable. And we have here not even looked at the ever-present threat of violence that the standoff comes with.
There are some elements in government who seem to be living under the delusion that as long as the President is safely tucked away at State House, then the opposition can make noise until it eventually tires. Then there are some in the opposition who would want to take advantage of the political crisis to drive their own very dangerous agenda that seems aimed at anarchy and the dismemberment of Kenya.

The longer it takes for reason to prevail, so that President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga can sit down and work out a compromise that will set Kenya back on the way to normalcy, the more hardliners on both sides will entrench themselves. We have hardliners in government whose calculated statements might have made former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan develop a sudden diplomatic flu, delaying his mediation mission to Kenya.
By insisting that there is absolutely no problem needing mediation, they are trampling on the bodies of those already killed or displaced.

Their obdurate stand must have sounded as sweet music to their counterparts on the other side, who also do not want negotiations that might interfere with what looks like a calculated programme of violence in their regions. Voices of reason on both sides must move swiftly to isolate dangerous demagogues in their midst and drive a process that will lead Kenya back to peace, justice and national reconciliation.

 

Lifted by Korir, API/APN africanpress@getmail.no, source.nation.ke

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