EDITORIAL: Dastardly killings should provoke national outrage

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By EDITORIAL
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We condemn in the strongest terms possible the killings of a Baringo Member of County Assembly as well three children of another ward leader in Uasin Gishu.

While we cannot yet be sure of the exact circumstances in either case, we are shocked and alarmed insofar as they represent an unacceptable escalation of crime.

In the first case, the Baringo MCA, Mr Thomas Minito, went missing early this week. On Friday, he was found dead in Old Donyo Sabuk in Machakos, hundreds of miles away.

In the other incident, three children of Mr James Ratemo, an Uasin Gishu MCA, disappeared a few days ago. On Friday, two were found dead in Kitale, and the body of another recovered from River Nzoia.

Whether or not the two incidents revolve around politics, the dastardly killings should provoke national outrage.

That they may be indicative of a pattern where contenders for political office resort to elimination of their opponents or family members should be a matter of national concern.

We must resolve that a political contest should never be determined through blood. Killing as a tool for political dominance is outrageous, primitive, cruel and frightful.

For Baringo, the latest incident is a stark reminder that the region remains volatile; that attempts to quell the violence that has engulfed the county for months are yet to bear fruit.

It was just in March that another MCA, Fredrick Cheretei, and an aspirant for Tiaty National Assembly seat, Simon Pepee Kitambaa, were killed by armed criminals.

Years ago, Kenya went through tumultuous times of over the regular assassinations of prominent politicians.

The killers were never brought to book, and the country seemingly resolved to forget and move on because it would not profit to open old wounds.

We are now suffering the consequences because refusal to pursue justice and punish criminals means there is no deterrence.

Now Kenyans must wake up and face realities.

We, as people, must demand that the police and other law and order agencies move with speed and resolve to bring to justice perpetrators of any crime.

The lesson must be sent out strongly that crime does not pay, that anyone who harms another will face the full force of the law.

The Police must act swiftly and meticulously to get to the bottom of killings cited above. The public must show it is tired of the usual half-hearted investigations.

At the same time, political contenders must be put on notice that criminal actions in pursuit of elective office will not be contained.

Political parties must come out forcefully to condemn and turn in members who may be involved in any of those treacherous acts.

We commiserate with the families of the bereaved as we demand justice. Never again should families be subjected to such horror, and never again should the blood of the innocent flow over political rivalries.

Every unpunished killing emboldens the authors of such criminal activities and breeds impunity that eventually escalates to murder on a mass scale as we have previously witnessed around election cycles.

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