A while back, I wrote an article about a woman who was set ablaze by her husband during the 2007 post elections violence. Interestingly, this couple had lived together for several years despite their different ethnic backgrounds. What started as normal discussion of politics turned tragic when her husband splashed kerosin, lit a matchbox and set her on fire.
The woman, a mother of five survived the ordeal but the 75 per cent degree burns engraved on her body by her husband will be a constant reminder that because of different political stands, the man she trusted to be her protector turned against her. These is just but an example of the extremes of violence instigated by politics.
Let us face it, Kenya is synonymous to political unrest especially during the election period when the temperatures are high. Not once or twice but severally, leaders have been caught on camera making rather wanting remarks. I will not dive into the details of the 2007/2008 general election but we all know the wrecked status our country was at the time.
The general elections are just around the corner and already the temperatures are at boiling points. While the leaders currently sitting in office and those aspiring for office have a responsibility to spread a word of peace as they politic, the question that remains is what am I, what are you, what are we as a society doing to uphold the sovereignty of this country by passing on this timeless message of peace? Talking about peace can never be old news plus this message is not age conscience.
The elections upcoming crucial are crucial and the fact of the matter is, we all have preferred candidates who we feel will drive this Nation in the right direction. However, given that there are different aspirants, there are chances that our preferred might not win the election. Now does this automatically translate to hatred for one another? Absolutely not! If anything, this should bring us even closer knowing that we can coexists despite our different stands. Kenya is bigger than a day at the ballot.
As we ready ourselves for August 8th let us embrace the words of Pope Francis in his 2017 peace Message titles ‘Nonviolence: A style of Politics for Peace’ where the Holy Father says, “May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life.”