Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenyan newspapers were awash with stories on the failure of government to tackle insecurity and reckless killings, which they said, could lead to the loss of moral authority to govern and a further slide to total anarchy ahead of next year’s General Elections.
In at least two editorials this week, the Daily Nation and the Standard took a swipe at the growing lack of stability and the deterioration of the rule of law, with teachers, doctors and university lecturers all on strike and with the police threatening to strike over allowances.
“President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga must deal conclusively with the matter (insecurity) and appoint a substantive internal security minister,” the Saturday Nation editorialised.
The newspapers were outraged by the revenge attacks that left 12 people dead days after similar attacks left 52 people dead in the Tana River Delta, where the local communities have been battling each other for control of grazing land and water rights.
The Daily Nation wrote about the crisis of confidence on the ruling Grand Coalition government, saying while the insecurity situation in the East African nation continued to worsen, there were no clear statements emerging from the government on what needs to be done to tackle them.
“It is difficult, at any time, to figure out what the official government position is on any issue because different ministers will be saying different things,” the paper said.
This week, the government received another unreserved bashing from the Standard, which wondered why the government unleashed the Police on teachers to spray teargas and moved to court to stop paying teachers salary increment agreed upon in 1997.
The country’s nearly 300,000 teachers are on strike, paralysing some nearly 20,000 schools from re-opening for the third term of the year, with school examinations for university entrance and secondary school exams due in a matter of weeks.
“Was the government belligerence turning a deaf ear to a clear opportunity to hammer out a compromise with the teachers,” the Standard wrote in its editorial about the teachers strike.
The Standard was more concerned about the Police demands for the payment of outstanding allowances. The paper also expressed its displeasure at the “sight of unruly teachers tearing down the streets or applying mob justice on another senior colleague who failed to heed the strike call.
There have been television footage of teachers stripping colleagues necked after they were found to have reported for work on the first day of the strike this week.
Teachers are demanding 300 percent pay hike while intern doctors, who were sacked this week, are demanding stipend payments of Ksh94,000.
The regular doctors have warned the government to reverse the sack notice or they would also join the strike in solidarity with the interns.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 8Sept2012