Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Obama’s Message to Kenyans on the Eve of March General Election

President Barack Obama has chosen the power of video to deliver his message on the impeding Kenya general elections to be held on March 4, 2013 to the people of Kenya. He appeals to Kenyans to reject intimidation and violence. He implores them to choose freedom, fairness and openness. The elections should be free and fair, he adds.

For those who dispute the outcome of the elections, he asks them to use the Courts rather than the streets to resolve the disputes. We vividly remember the main course of violence in the last election was the rejection by one of the antagonistic parties to seek justice from the Courts. Obama reminds that with the new constitutions, institutions and mechanisms for resolution of disputes are in place. Anyone that feels wronged should seek this path rather than the route of violence.

Obama also stresses the neutrality of America in the election. He says that America has no preferred candidate nor does it support or endorse any of the candidates. For America the message is clear “Let the people Decide”. Obama’s administration seems to distance itself from the position taken by countries such as United Kingdom and some European Union governments that warn Kenyans on who to elect as their president.

Kenyans should listen carefully to what Obama is saying for the sake of our beloved country. Don’t let anyone scare you as to who to elect as your president. The choice is yours. Also don’t listen to those who threaten you with sanctions for opting to support some candidates and not others. Shun those who cry wolf just in order to create a scenario for dispute, conflict, hatred and even violence. Don’t entertain rumors, perceptions, allegations and outright lies for the sake of hating one candidate over another. Let us avoid pitting one candidate against the other, one community against another and one region against the others. We are all Kenyas and so should we remain during elections campaigns and after the elections. We should not dare our country apart for the sake of elections.

Listen to those who say what they will do to improve your lives, standard of living and your general welfare. Ask those peddling lies, rumors, allegations and hatred to stop. Freedom of expression does not include insincerity and deception. It is a fair play for the sake of the people, peace and tranquility. Let us discuss the pressing problems facing the country with sobriety. The sensitive, divisive and emotive issues should be interrogated after the elections when the tension and pressure of elections have subsided. Let us carry out the dialogue through the institutions and mechanisms established by the constitution and not election public rallies.

Kenyans are peaceful people and can deliver a peaceful violence free election.  Let us do it.

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