Let opposition and civil society play their rightful roles

Activists march along Harambee Avenue, Nairobi, on May 17, 2022. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Time has come for clear checks and balances between the government and the opposition. There should be no blurred lines after elections.

Kenya’s budding democracy must mean something. The elections that are heavily invested and contested must produce those that have their way and say. Both have a sacrosanct role to make Kenya a better and more progressive democracy.

Imperatively, Parliament must robustly debate and pass legislation that will see the Minority side through the Office of the Official Opposition, vigorously hold the government to account in a civil fashion from the benches of the Legislative House away from chaotic streets.

History is rich with examples of immortal figures who dismantled the invincible evil hand of racism, apartheid, class segregation, unfair trade wars, religious extremism, sexism, corruption, strong men with their demagoguery and brute dictators.

The indomitable spirit of such towering figures including Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Alfred Charles Sharpton, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Tupac Shakur, Bob Marley, Du Bois, and Stacy Abrams among other civil rights activists who engaged in sit-ins and peaceful protests to effect indelible difference using their words of wisdom and artistry.

From the imperilled three-day demos called by Azimio la Umoja, it is evident there cannot be peaceful picketing, demonstration and seamless handing over of petitions to the authorities as provided by law.

The maandamano has been replete with chaos, looting, incitement to violence, the upsurge of dreaded gangs and outlawed sects, dangerous tribal rhetoric, vandalism, wanton destruction of property, economic sabotage and outright anarchy.

Our progressive Constitution provides a clear mechanism to address any conundrum of whatever nature. It behoves our leaders, democrats and patriots to invoke provisions of the law to amicably solve simmering and emerging issues.

Still, there are no winners in war and anarchy. Everyone is a loser including those fanning the embers. The last thing industrious Kenyans want to see is the destruction of their hard-earned sweat. Astoundingly, the once revered and esteemed voice of the clergy and civil society is getting muffled, and its influence waning at an alarming rate. The credibility of some vocal men of cloth holding briefs for a cabal of politicos has been brought into question.

The civil society and the clergy must play their role faithfully and impartially, keeping both the government and the opposition in check. They must call out the wrongs from whichever side, for the real prosperity of our country.

-The writer is Senator for Kericho and Senate majority leader


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