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David Ndii’s Remarks not Conducive to National Healing

August 25, 2017
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Up until a few years ago, David Ndii was one of my most esteemed economists, and his writing was a must read.

That applied not just for me but for other old school scribes who still believe that not just broad but intensive reading is critical for any journalist worth the ink he uses to write. So, what changed? You might want to ask, and that is a story for another day, though it forms the basis of why I stopped reading him, just like I did a few other veteran writers.

My beef today is his contention that a mass action is an option if the Supreme Court does not rule in Nasa’s favour in the presidential election petition as Nasa head of strategy, perhaps his remarks were aimed at his alliance’s followers. But the message is not lost on the populace, most of whom took a dim view of his toxic comments. During an interview with a local TV station on Tuesday, David Ndii said Nasa was prepared for mass action. He said the decision came from a “need to seek a free democratic space”.

“We have been calling for mass action since 1991. We will not stop as long as some people try to restore dictatorship,” he was quoted as saying.

Tellingly, former Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire asked David Ndii if he would be leading the revolution accompanied by his family. This was precisely the same question I would have loved to ask David Ndii!

“Just wondering if he will lead the bullet revolution from the front with his wife and children?” Mbarire posed as we wait with bated breath for the economist to answer that all-important question, we invite others of his ilk to tell us the same thing. Will they lead from the front accompanied by their kith and kin? It is utterly reckless for anyone to call for mass action just as the country is emerging from the tension of a hotly contested election.

It is even worse that this sort of position emanates from an educated mind that should be telling us where this country should start to find healing, knowing as we do, how fragmented we are as a nation.

Now, if the holder of a doctorate can advance such an argument, what do we expect from village charlatans and activists who derive a living from approaching every issue with an open mouth and closed mind?

This country needs assistance to reduce the levels at which we are polarised, and not the sort of view that advocates secession Or maybe, just perhaps, it is a personal opinion? Either way, it is still unacceptable that with his enlightened mind, he ignores the views of the millions of voters who did not vote for Nasa, who may want nothing to do with his argument.

This country must have room for them, too, or does David Ndii not think so? Kenyans need time to tell leaders to re-calibrate and deliver the sort of roadmap that will solve national challenges, not arguments advanced by the likes of David Ndii. This is not the time for shenanigans. It is time for serious work, whether he is his master’s voice or not. Period.

—The writer is the Special Projects
Editor, People Daily

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