If Kenyans Think Dialogue Is Cowardice, Think Again. Today Kenya is in a serious crisis of leadership that badly needs solution. And this crisis is our election. How shall we resolve this crisis that pushes the country to the brink of civil war every five years when we have election? To solve our crisis, we must agree on what means we need to get together and discuss our problem as soon as we can. The other day, Spanish government asked to be told whether Catalonia had declared independence but also ruled out the Catalan request for dialogue. How then would they be told whether there had been a declaration of independence or not without dialogue? Here in Kenya, an election has been annulled and a fresh one ordered. Supreme Court has ordered the repeat election to be conducted according to law and Constitution and without a repeat of the irregularities and illegalities that caused nullification of the election in the first place. How this without dialogue? As we start our journey to 26th of October the day of election, our leaders refuse to dialogue, thinking it is cowardice to do so, but talk of conducting free and fair elections. How is this possible? The truth is that between talking and fighting, you need more courage to talk than to fight. To talk you need brain but to fight, only brawn. Anybody can fight but only a few can think and dialogue. Even if we reject dialogue and fight, some day our war will end and we shall engage in dialogue. Why not start with dialogue and skip war? There are many reasons why we should reject war to solve our political problems. We must talk and not fight because, to talk is to build but to fight is to destroy. When we fight we destroy so many things. When we fight, we destroy our capacity to think and solve problems. When we fight, other people think for us while we kill our thinking capacity. When we fight, we also destroy other things that we have. When we fight, we destroy our development. Because people cannot fight and develop at the same time, when we fight, we destroy the development we have and stop other development we could have if we are not fighting. When we fight we destroy our country which we cannot preserve and subject to war at the same time. People who have fought have also destroyed their countries. Somalia is in tatters because her people have been fighting for many years. Uganda is in tatters because her people fought. Yugoslavia broke up because her people fought. We better talk than fight. Given a choice between war and dialogue, always choose dialogue in full knowledge that talking is better than fighting. We must persuade our leaders to talk not to fight. Yet many people think they can only ask their leaders to fight. As prophets of Baal, we endear themselves to leaders by encouraging them to fight. People close to leaders feel safer when they encourage them to fight. It is particularly bad when almost everybody feel they can only be anybody if they are fighting or war mongering. One only needs to listen to our radios and social media. Everything is war, war, war. It is a tragedy that our lives and politics are war. Our government is war. Our parliament is war. Our churches are war. Our courts are war. Our business is war. Everything is war. If our elections are war, what will they give us? They can only give us horrible leaders, horrible preachers, dead souls, corruption and injustice. A Kenyan hero called Waruru Kanja used to say “a government could stop people from talking but not from farting.” Not to fart, people must talk. When people don’t talk, they fart. Yet talking soothes and farting fouls air. When Kenya had dictatorship, talking was forbidden and could not be done. When they sought dialogue through elections and other parties, they were clobbered and detained. Our fear and silence were justified then. They are not today. Today we have no reason not to talk. We must make every effort to talk. When people demonstrate they are shouting to be heard. Answer them with dialogue and give country peace and justice. Those who suffer death-wish, must never be given war.

 

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