, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Kenya’s Chief Justice can hear the drums of possible violence as the country approaches the 2017 General Election, which he believes every person who understands Kenya should also be hearing.
To reverse this, CJ Willy Mutunga has called on civil society groups to intensify pressure on government to tame increased hate speech which can lead to violence in the country.
“As we approach the elections the drums of possible violence are being heard by all of us,” he said.
He says the country is dancing on a precipice and it may flip over if something is not done more so ahead of 2017 General Election.
“We have to internalise these problems as we have a 30-month window to implement the program. As middle civil society organisations in the democracy and governance sector, we still face challenges that the elite face,” he said.
CJ Mutunga noted that the much needed pressure to put the country on the right track has been weakened “because we (civil society groups) lack passion, drive, are divided by our ethnicity, religion, race, region, gender, generation and various layers of our membership in the middle class.”
The 2010 Constitution gives Kenyans a progressive country, but Mutunga says it’s only through its implementation that, “we could get our country into a social democratic trajectory and its resultant progress.”
Speaking during the launch of the Democracy and Human Rights program on Friday, CJ Mutunga attributed the economic, social, cultural and political problems the country has been facing to unending political wrangles.
“Our elites do not seem to have a consensus on what it is in the national interest and how to build our nation and state under the 2010 constitution,” he regretted.
Some of the remedies he proposes include the media being actively involved in calling for equality, civil society groups helping to facilitate the much needed mental shifts and more public participation in the governance of the country.
His remarks were echoed by the National Council of Churches of Kenya General Secretary Reverend Canon Peter Karanja who laments that the country remains sharply divided along ethnic lines.
He pointed out the continued embezzlement of public funds at the national and county level as another factor threatening the stability of the country.
“In the last two years, Kenyans have been treated to utter display of petty power plays; clamour for and display of power, rampant corruption, misuse of public resources and infighting between County Assemblies,” he said.
Karanja cautioned that the threat of corruption will remain high as long as those accused of corruption go unpunished.
“The presidency must lead the pack, citizenry must demand greater accountability, the civil society and media must play their watchdog role as independent institutions to ruthless act on fiscal indiscipline,” he said.
The Democracy and Human Rights program was sponsored by the Swedish Government and prepared by a number of civil groups among them Independent Medico-Legal Unit.