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IEBC Standoff: Gentlemen Hold on And Lets Talk

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Police putting off fire lit up by rioters in Kisumu during the demos

Police putting off fire lit up by rioters in Kisumu during the demos

Weeks continue to pile and so has CORD’s anti-IEBC demos that have intensified and spread through the country. The standoff is over IEBC that the opposition wants bundled out, and the ruling party Jubilee is vowing with a clenched fist to retain.

In their stand, CORD says IEBC marred with integrity issues backdating to flawed 2013 elections that allegedly flocked with fraudulent stints. The chicken-gate scandal that has been haunting the Isaack Hassan led commission for the longest time with their UK counterparts serving jail time.

As clock ticks towards 2017 general election, the stakeholders i.e. CORD and Jubilee have resorted to standing their grounds despite calls for them to loosen up. Last week, the president had invited the CORD principals for a luncheon in the Statehouse where they are said to have discussed the contagious IEBC topic and struck a deal.

In a quick twirl, the Jubilee divide rubbished off claims by CORD that they had hit a deal. Further stirred confusion making CORD stage another demo having called it off a week earlier to give room for dialogue.

Demonstrators in Kisumu carry away body of one of their own shot dead by police

Demonstrators in Kisumu carry away body of one of their own shot dead by police

Demos staged countrywide would see a terminal end in Kisumu where two protestors were confirmed dead and scores injured. The number adds to the previous fatalities in the Luo Nyanza region to five, previously police had killed three people.

With the two parties maintaining stiff standpoints and the only persons landed baggage being the citizens who suffer casualties, a voice of tranquility is highly needed. It’s worth noting that, as it stands, the IEBC turmoil is way beyond constitutionality, reduced to supremacy and dick measuring battle.

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Puffed ego between state who are determined to show the opposition who runs the show and has the muscles. The opposition who are hell bent to put the state on its toes with pressured demos until they give in.
But really, do we have to continue counting the dead bodies, shed more blood, watch mothers mourn their sons to wake up to the reality?

Shattered walls of Tumaini Supermarket in Kisumu by rioters

Shattered walls of Tumaini Supermarket in Kisumu by rioters

Historically, rough demos resulted not only in deaths but humanity deliberating policies. However, as one Martin Luther King, Jr. once put it, “violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem, and it merely creates new and more complicated ones.”

As a country we can’t solve IEBC impasse with violence and think it will solve it, we’re simply breeding more problems given the sensitive period we’re in heading to 2017. It is time as one the late Prof. George Saitoti once put it that it comes a time when the interest of the nation is more important than the individuals.

A pledge goes to the president and the opposition leader, call a cease-fire, let’s sober down, put aside our personal interest and put the nation ahead. Swallowing pride might be a hard one to swallow, but history will judge you right as having statesmanship spirit.

A demonstrator in Homabay

A demonstrator in Homabay

IEBC standoff will not go away, and apparently the commission has lost almost half of the country’s confidence given political dynamics. For a free and fair elections that will be acceptable and paramount to peace, an electoral commission must be seen trustworthy and of high integrity, something current group lacks.

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As of my recent article on the IEBC topic, a political solution, as opposed to constitutional, will bail out the botheration. Now more than ever Mr. President and Rt. Hon, the country needs you, don’t allow a single drop of blood.

homabay

As I ink this, a kid in Kisumu has had a bullet removed from his back after being shot by a police officer who apparently opened fire in the residential areas. This young boy will never live a normal life, apart from trauma, his physical condition is bound to twist.

I watched the photos of the kid wreathing in pain and I didn’t like it, and I want to believe it disturbed you too. Gentlemen, swallowing your pride doesn’t equal weakness, leadership requires wisdom and knowing you hold livelihoods of many at your hands, sobriety is vital.

Rise above your egos and don’t abscond to the call of leadership and save the nation. Lastly, Swallow your pride occasionally, it doesn’t fatten.

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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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