January 22nd 2018

Opinion / Commentaries

CORD should take Uhuru’s offer for talks on IEBC

A sigh of relief was witnessed across the country soon after the president agreed to the talks. These talks hold the future of the country.

By Thomas Matalangatmatalanga@kenyafreepress.comFriday, 10 Jun 2016 14:40 EAT

The recent decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to enter into talks with CORD raises pertinent questions on the trustworthiness of Kenyan politicians. For so long the president resisted overtures from CORD for talks over the future of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

With innocent Kenyans dying for protesting peacefully for electoral reforms, the change of mind by the president and his team in government should have come earlier. If indeed Kenyans are to feel proud of their leadership, our leaders ought to give the plight of ordinary citizens  first priority . It is saddening to lose a fellow countryman over political standoffs that can be addressed by simple engagement between leaders. Our leaders are always busy exchanging nasty political rhetoric while we the ordinary wananchi bear the repercussions of their actions.

The Kenyan state is currently in crisis as a result of the petty politics of ethnicity, social class, nepotism, lack of transparency and accountability inculcated in the hearts of Kenyans over the 53 years of the country’s existence. Our current leaders should realize that losing an election doesn’t make you a failure but rather gives you the opportunity to let someone else do the job. They should not always resort to protests and hostilities when dealing with issues affecting the state.   

It is the duty of the opposition to closely monitor the government’s work. In functioning democracies all across the world it is constructive criticism that fosters the need for the very democracy. The Kenyan opposition despite their many achievements still have a long way to go. They must first learn to respect the rule of law. They also must understand that our differences can lead us into a more united nation.

Despite the decision by the government to engage in talks, CORD still vowed to engage in protests twice a week. The reason being CORD has issues with the forum for the talks and the size of the team. The government named a team of eleven while the opposition wants the team to be constituted of seven members from either side. The opposition also wants the talks held outside parliament but the government insists that the talks will be done within parliament.

The decision by the government to agree to talks over the IEBC is a commendable one. The only setback to a clear and peaceful settlement of the issue will be if the opposition goes ahead with their planned protests next week. If there was ever a point where CORD could make a better Kenya then this is the opportune moment.

A sigh of relief was witnessed across the country soon after the president agreed to the talks. These talks hold the future of the country. Should they go wrong then we should expect the worst, but if and only if they go right then Kenyans expect a brighter end.

Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.

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