By EURIDICE NZIOKA,19TH OCT 2017-With less than a week to the repeat presidential elections,the National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis Ole Kaparo is calling upon President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga to embrace dialogue and heed Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) call for talks in a bid to end the current political turmoil in the country.
Addressing the press on Thursday Kaparo said the grandstanding witnessed between the two sides in regards to next week’s presidential election may plunge the country into chaos and a full blown conflict that will affect the growth of the country.
“We are appealing to the political leaders and their supporters to explore alternative means of resolving the issues at hand. We urge the government and opposition to act with openness, sobriety and tolerance in addressing the source of the current impasse,” said Kaparo during a press briefing on the current political situation in the country.
He further added that it was time for the political leaders to act and reach out to each other for the sake of the country arguing that it would be a grave mistake to hope that the current political situation witnessed in the country would be resolved through threats and counter threats or public condemnation.He has warned that the hard-line stances taken by the politicians would further divide the country which went through a deadly post election period in 2007 and 2008.
“A polarized Kenya is a road for endless mistrust, hostility and economic retrogression. That is the road we must not travel,” said Kaparo.
Kaparo further asked Kenyans to exercise restraint and desist from engaging in violent demonstrations, hate speech and threats which can only heighten the tension around the repeat presidential election.
“To the supporters of the political class we urge you to embrace tolerance, restraint and respect diversity. Elections come and go but Kenya remains. Your neighbors remain hence we have to preach peace, love and unity. Let us be our brothers keepers,” noted Kaparo.
more over he urged IEBC to put its house in order and assure Kenyans of a free, fair and credible election.
“We urge IEBC to follow the law and provide credible elections,” said Kaparo.