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Political protests must not end up in chaos, looting

by kenya-tribune

Azimio leader Raila Odinga to declared countrywide mass protests to force President William Ruto and his administration to address the high cost of living, engender electoral reforms, and abandon dictatorial tactics.

Mr Odinga announced a massive procession in Nairobi on March 20 in a bid for a legitimate and inclusive government. 

The move is, however, not advisable now because most Kenyans are facing a slew of economic challenges. It is a source of immense worry for businesses.

Mass action is always disruptive to business and the overall economy. When such protests descend into chaos and looting, trade and national security stand to lose substantially. While it is a constitutional right to protest, those participating in the marches must, therefore, ensure they do it peacefully. They ought to know that their right ends where the others’ starts. 

Further division

With the high cost of living as a key issue, besides last year’s election results, this is a recipe for further division, tension and violence as the authorities crack down on the protesters to enforce law and order. In the interest of national unity, the rival camps should come off their high horse and engage in constructive dialogue to resolve their differences amicably. 

I urge my fellow Kenyan youth to resist being misused by politicians for selfish interests but push to be gainfully engaged. There is a need to bring to an end the perpetual misuse of the youth and, therefore, we cannot afford to engage in ill-informed demonstrations.

If this protest ends up in looting the wares of traders as we have witnessed in the past, the demonstrators will have undermined their own cause by trampling on the rights of others. 

We need peace to achieve our national development agenda and usher in prosperity. It is, therefore, necessary that the opposition leaders rein in their troops so that they do not cause chaos as they go about making their demands.

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