‘Stop militarizing youth to gain power,’ Raila tells politicians on Kenol violence

‘Stop militarizing youth to gain power,’ Raila tells politicians on Kenol violence

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has condemned the violence witnessed at Kenol in Murang’a County on Sunday during a visit by Deputy President William Ruto that left two dead.

Mr. Odinga, in a statement released on Monday, urged leaders to stop arming the youth and renounce politics of violence saying it could very easily follow into the 2022 elections and lead to an even colossal loss of innocent Kenyan lives.

“This spectre of violence and vandalism in the name of a presidential election that is over two years away, should be a serious cause for concern to all peace-loving Kenyans. If this continues, and it easily can, it could spiral out of control and we will stagnate as a country, as the government will not deliver much in the remaining two years,” he said.

“Out of fear and anxiety, our citizens will shift their priorities from rebuilding the country to an election that is way far. Furthermore, the seeds of violence being planted now could easily follow us into that election, with grave consequences.”

The opposition chief further added: “I therefore wish to repeat an appeal we have been making for the last two years. Let us stop the early election campaigns. Let’s renounce the politics of violence and militarization of our youth as a mean of achieving power.”

Mr. Odinga appealed to fellow leaders to acknowledge the systemic violence that has plagued Kenya for long and commit to ending it.

The former Prime Minister also urged the government to speed up investigations into the Kenol incident and ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.

“We must regard such politics as outdated and out of tune with our current aspirations to move past our divided and bitter past as a nation in favour of politics of engagement rather than confrontation,” he said.

“I appeal to the Government to move with speed, and fairly but firmly deal with the people behind the violence so as to pass an unmistakable message that Kenyans don’t deserve this and it must stop.”