Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, while opening a new resort – Hill Park Amare in Diani – did not mince words when he reminded the opposition to tone down their rhetoric and refrain from what he called violent politics. He warned that political chaos introduced by the opposition into the streets of the Kenyan capital and other major urban centres, could bring to a crashing halt the tourism recovery, which has gained momentum since he returned to this portfolio in late 2015.
He himself of course is no stranger to the way the opposition does business. When in 2012 he stood up to his party leader, one Raila Odinga, and reminded him to respect party regulations and procedures and not act like a village chief dictator, he found himself sacked from the then coalition government and replaced in the tourism ministry by a hapless party sycophant, who did more harm than good in the tourism ministry when the downturn in fortunes for Kenya was written on the walls for all to see but him.
Balala, no wonder, eventually left that party and found a new home with the present Jubilee government of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
Hence are his words to the opposition of greater weight and relevance than those of many others and it can only be hoped that opposition leaders finally see what their actions could cost the entire country, before the global tourism fraternity once again begins to cut Kenya off at the knees and divert traffic, especially ahead of the 2017 elections.
Will Odinga and Co heed the warnings? Probably not as he did not heed Balala’s clarion call back in 2012 either. While street protests presently stand suspended, following growing violence by protesters and very harsh reactions from the Kenyan security forces, this needs to be made permanent, unless the opposition is intent to kill off the tourism sector’s recovery presently underway.
For now though it is watch and see, after Balala sounded the warning with his courageous words.
Tourism CS during the opening of Hill Park Amare Resort . He called on the politicians to tone down violent demonstrations that were impacting negatively on the destinationTourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala wants politicians to tone down disruptive and violent political activities that are tainting the image of the country.
The recent violent street demonstrations against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) championed by the politicians, lamented the CS, has projected the image of the country on a bad light.
“Not that we are opposed to demonstrations. It is the way it is done with politicians igniting violence on the streets and fanning hatred among peace loving Kenyan,” posed Balala.
The Secretary made the remarks yesterday evening after officially opening Hill Park Amare Resort in Daini, Kwale County.
He regretted both the local and international media have extensively given coverage to the recent violent demos against IEBC at…
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