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Affront to democracy

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Affront to democracy


Publication Date: 2/28/2008

It is an outrage, but apparently, nobody seems to think it is anything out of the ordinary. Eight councillors from Nyatike Division in Migori have been living in a nightmare ever since they were elected on a ticket of the ‘‘wrong’’ party exactly two months ago.

In fact, they had to flee to Tanzania after daring to ‘‘win’’ on a PNU ticket in an ODM zone. Never mind that they only won because their opponents did not present nomination papers in time, and therefore knocked themselves out of the contest. 

So what should this tell us about the state of democracy in Kenya? The fact that the councillors have been hounded for exercising their democratic right is not, in itself, surprising considering the intensity of intolerance against those purported to be holding opposing political views everywhere in the country.

This intolerance is not isolated; it is, indeed, one of the reasons why Kenya is in such dire straits today.

Isn’t it surprising, for instance, that none of the ODM top officials, who keep talking about democratisation and human rights, have seen it fit to intervene so that these eight can enjoy some rights too?

Isn’t it worrying that the Government cannot find ways of ensuring the security of these hapless folk?

The test of any nation’s maturity is its ability to tolerate diversity of views and political beliefs. We, in Kenya, have failed this test time and again, which is why we are enduring this terrible ordeal.

What is happening in Migori is just a microcosm of what has been happening in the rest of the country, right from the grassroots to the highest levels of our body politic. And we talk of democracy?

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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