Tolerance, Respect & Accountability at the Polls

A democracy thrives in the market place of ideas. Driven by ideology, and not sensationalism. Your subscription to a particular brand of politics does not invalidate that of your neighbor, or your domestic worker. Diametrically opposed positions do not, and should not, enemies make. The stakes are high, for every single Kenyan. But it is important to avoid fanning the sweeping political rhetoric that perverts constructive discourse. Because to do so would be to engage in dangerous anti-constitutional fanaticism. The kind that festers until it has to erupt.

As we prepare to go to the polls in a few weeks, political propaganda and intolerance are rife in an already tense campaign season. Kenyans, civil society, the religious fraternity, and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission are weary of the potential for this to erupt into violence. This has therefore led to numerous peace campaigns across the country calling for peaceful elections on August 8th, 2017.

This violence is precipitated by a perception of being wronged, being cheated, being robbed. The way to ensure peace is therefore not simply the broadcasting of well-meaning peace messages, slogans and hashtags. It requires that we respect and hold to account the public institutions entrusted with administering the elections and adjudicating disputed election results within the purview of the law. To ensure transparency, credibility, impartiality and accountability in the same.

We can disagree on politics, but remain united as Kenyans.