The Constitution envisages for equal rights for Kenyans

Every Kenyan has various rights as enshrined in the constitution; the right to life, the right to own property legally, right to information and right to hold a peaceful assembly, among many others.

However, it should not appear as though some people’s rights are more enshrined than the rights of others and they can undermine them at will.

This is exactly the picture National Super Alliance (NASA) flag-bearer Raila Odinga and his lieutenants in the opposition are trying to portray.

The opposition stalwarts and their supporters behave like their rights are way above the rights of their opponents and can trample on them at will.

NASA supporters have been holding disruptive demonstrations in various parts of the country, affecting other people’s peace and destroying their property and businesses.

A case in point is the looting of a supermarket in Kisumu two weeks ago, causing untold losses on someone whose only mistake was to set up the store to try to earn a living.

Raila and his supporters may have the right to picket, but that right does not side step the rights of others to own property and run businesses.

Police have responded with lethal force, killing some of the demonstrations and in some tragic cases innocent people, including children. This act by the police must be condemned in equal measure because the officers are only supposed to maintain law and order, not kill people.

However, these deaths and destruction of property are on NASA leaders, who insist on demos even after turned chaotic.

Even though Raila has come out to condemn those looting other people’s property, that is not enough and he must be held accountable.

As a leader, Raila should know when enough is enough; if he cannot rein in his troops then the right thing to do is to stop the demos immediately and let other Kenyans enjoy the peace they have worked so hard to earn.

But it seems as always Raila is only interested in his selfish gains and therefore will go to any length to get what he wants. That is why he cannot stop the demos.

Raila purported to withdraw from the October 26 fresh election, saying he could not be forced to take part in a process he does not believe in.

He is right that nobody can force a person to take part in an election, but he of all the people knows that there are lawful procedures to follow in all processes.

He knows that for one to formally withdraw he must fill form 24A, which he did not and as such his name had to be on the ballot.

There were other candidates in this election and it could not be stopped just because one didn’t want to participate. It was Raila’s right not to participate in the election, but it was also the right of other candidates to participate and also the right of NASA supporters to choose to cast their ballot or not.

Talking about the election, it is common knowledge that in perceived strongholds, there are people who support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, just as there are people who support Raila in Uhuru’s strongholds it was only fair to allow them to exercise their right to vote.

As a matter of fact, Western region is considered by many as a NASA stronghold, but Jubilee humiliated NASA and captured eight parliamentary seats during the August 8th poll.

As the President has said, those who decided not to vote in the fresh Presidential election had the right not to and this right must be protected.

Similarly, those who voted were within their rights and must be protected.

Sarah Korere is MP for Laikipia North

The views expressed in this article are her own and don’t reflect KBC’s opinion.



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