The Star (Nairobi)

9 January 2013

Kenya: Wrong Time for Divisive Politics

editorial

THE Finance ministry believes the economy will expand by 5.6 per cent this year, up from about 5 per cent in 2012, according to the latest budget policy statement.

Kenya is entering the election period with the economy on a reasonably sound footing.

Kenya has gone through a difficult five years. The economic disaster of post-election violence in 2008 was followed by global recession in 2009 and hyper inflation in 2011.

Kenya is only just returning to the sound economic position of 2007 when the economy was growing at 7 per cent plus.

We should not jeopardise the gains of this restructuring. An election is just an election. The country is more important than any one individual.

Tempers will run high over the next two months. Like it or not, the two main coalitions of Jubilee and Cord are based on ethnic arithmetic. This will create the illusion that one community is winning or losing.

In reality, businessmen, workers or peasants have shared class interests irrespective of their community.

An election should be competitive, but politicians and their supporters should not become so desperate that they drag the country down with them. Especially when the economy is just entering a sustained growth phase.

Quote of the day: "To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job." - Writer Simone de Beauvoir was born on January 9, 1908

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