Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hope for Kenya

If you look at they typical American media, you might think that the latest election in Kenya was solely about tribal politics. Delving further into the news there, I have found more than that. I recommend checking out the Daily Nation, The Daily Standard, and the ODM-Kenya Party.

Odinga believes in Universal Healthcare, reducing the size of Kenya's military, and improving the livelihood of Kenya's poor. Yet he also drives a Hummer, as the Governator does in California. He wants taxes reduced but opposes trickle down economics. He wants a
Marshall Plan for Kenya, that could only be financed through a progressive tax. He sounds like an FDR populist.

When officially announcing his run for Presidency, Raila Odinga stated " To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, I dream of a Kenya at peace with itself; a country free of hatred. As Martin Luther King Jr said, hatred paralyses life while love releases it. Hatred confuses life, while love harmonises it. Hatred darkens life, while love illuminates it."

Also stating in his announcement speech,
"Tribalism is today tearing this country apart." If Odinga really wants to end the bloodshed, he should ensure that his rally in Uhuru Park does not incite more hatred than hope. Though Kibaki is against the rally, it is important that freedom of speech and right to assemble are allowed for democracy to flourish.

His supporters have a right to be angry if the election was rigged or tampered with in any way. But to use the announced results as an excuse to riot, pillage, rape, and murder are not to be condoned. Odinga should extinguish the cycle of tribal warfare in Kenya. He should heal the wounds through word and then action if he is the true winner of the election. There will be hope for Kenya if its chosen leader acts with the highest of wisdom and compassion for all Kenyans.

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