Kenya remains without a parliament even as violence threatens to shred to pieces this once stable land in East Africa. The president is holed up in State House and is yet to issue a statement on the way forward, besides the chest thumping rhetoric about the ability of the security forces to deal with the post-election violence that has led to more than 300 deaths and displacement of more than 100,000 Kenyans (According to the Kenyan Red Cross).
As things stand, there is no avenue for dialogue between the government and the main opposition party that believes it wont the election but was denied victory by the government through rigging. This situation calls for the immediate swearing in of the new members of parliament in order to provide an arena for debate and dialogue on the way forward for Kenya.
The opposition should strongly consider using parliament to oust the president, if indeed they cannot stand his presidency for another five years. With 45% of the votes in parliament, and with cracks beginning to show within the president’s party, the opposition might be able to garner the more than 50% of votes needed to vote the government out of power in a vote of no confidence.
Parliamentary debate will also create the impression that something is being done about the situation and therefore lower tension in the country. Right now there seems to be an impasse and this is contributing to the rising tension all over the country.
It is very saddening that Kibaki and Raila remain obstinate and hell bent on plunging Kenya into an abyss of violence and barbarism. Kenyans should see these two leaders for who they really are – power hungry men with not much love for their country. Why are they still setting pre-conditions for dialogue when the country is flirting with the possibility of an all out civil war? Why haven’t they issued a joint statement condemning the violence and destruction of property?
As ordinary poor Kenyans die and lose their property, the real culprits – those who stole the election and those that are not willing to compromise for the country’s sake – continue to live near to normal lives without the food and fuel shortages that are beginning to further exacerbate Kenyans’ misery. This madness has to stop.