Listen to voices of reason on deadlock

Tuesday October 31 2017

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The grim reality of the post-election scenario is beginning to unfold as various actors reflect on the country’s future.

Independent voices such as religious and professional organisations, diplomats, and civil society are coming out strongly with fairly well-thought-out ideas that the country should begin debating.

It is dawning on everyone else that the current crisis is political as well as constitutional; and that although the Constitution was designed to cure enduring and historical injustices, there are other equally difficult challenges beyond it.

Inevitably, we must adopt an open-ended approach to confronting the challenges.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya has advanced the view that the country should consider constitutional amendments to expand the national leadership to accommodate more people to fix the twin problems of exclusion and marginalisation.

It would call for the dismantling of the current constitutional order; itself an uphill task.

However, we should not lock our minds, but rather think more broadly, even wildly, if that can provide answers to the crisis.

Although muted in recent years, faiths were at the forefront in the crusade against single-party and one-man dictatorship in the 1980s and 1990s.


And when the clamour for constitutional change foundered, the faiths organised themselves under the Ufungamano Initiative to drive the reform agenda.

The same applied to civil society and the diplomatic community.

Some diplomats stood up to fight on the side of the citizens and helped to change the course of history for the better.

Diplomats and election observers have articulated some views worth listening to.


But the political leaders have hardened their positions, with President Uhuru Kenyatta rejecting dialogue, insisting he cannot engage in any talks outside the law.

For his part, National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga keeps making new demands and insists on pursuing the path of civil disobedience.

The country must listen and give a chance to alternative views — voices of reason — away from the politicians with entrenched positions.

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