With the country at breaking point and growing political and economic injustices reigniting deeply entrenched ethnic hatreds, Raila Odinga chose yet again a path he often has: the path of negotiation rather than confrontation to right the wrongs and protect the people from the horrors that looming conflict posed. Finding an immediate solution to injustices when a country has such deep rooted ills and entrenched interests is not always possible. Raila Odinga is now taking a judicious, calculated risk of negotiation in the hope of averting the larger risk of internecine bloodshed.
This explosive stalemate had to be broken and a level of amity restored in which discussions could be held on how to address these deeply divisive passions.
As he had repeatedly asserted, dialogue was always Mr. Odinga’s priority as the way to resolve this threatening crisis. That dialogue had to be preceded an agreed agenda that included righting the electoral injustice that had occurred.
Mr. Odinga is confident that ALL the ills that imperil this nation will be addressed in the programme of negotiations that is being drawn up, given the overwhelming demand for change that Kenyans have shown in the last few months. We have never seen such national grassroots mobilization for change in our country’s independent history.
That kind of public pressure augurs well for the success of the two leaders’ efforts, both of whom made concessions to get the process underway.
The only way out of this existential crisis of national survival is to begin rapidly addressing our deeply rooted ills in a way that will show all kenyans our determination to changing the atrocious status quo.
Salim Lone Adviser,
H.E. Raila Odinga,
The People’s President