Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Kenya after Elections by John Paul Mugambi

The passion which we Kenyans went with to this years general elections was so great &wonderful that it is heartbreaking at the same time.

Wonderful because finally we seem to realise what power the ballot holds for our every day lives unlike .....in the previous elections where turnout was poor this years had almost 75% turn out.....and the youth who were always indifferent this time voted massively.....

Heartbreaking because all other things that make a democratic voting an effective tool in governance do not seem to function in our country.

The first is of course political parties. We are a Multi party democracy and yet we don't have real political parties. Apart from the party which led Kenya to her independence KANU which still fosters ideals of nationalism.....other parties do not seem to stand for any guiding principle, creed or social belief. They are instead based around personalities who are popular enough to pull crowds or tribal chieftains and all the people who subscribe to them do so only to ride on euphoria associated with the party and make it to parliament.....Most of these parties seem to have only a 5year shelf life ....next elections ....we will have a whole new set.

The second is the constitution .....after rejecting a fraudulent document in the 2005 referendum we all forgot why the document was so important....the political leaders who led the NO vote instead of using the goodwill they had gained with the people to go ahead and picket and petition for the BOMAS draft the only draft drawn up by a group drawn from all Kenyans instead formed a political party to contest this years elections.....talk about misguided priorities. A few months before elections the same crowd clamoured for minimum reforms and pointed out flaws in the composition of the Electoral Commision of Kenya appointments which would have been fixed by ......you guessed right ....the BOMAS constitution or a constitutional clause for that matter.

The third thing is that our parliament has too many self seekers......people spent 5 whole years in the 9th parliament only to realise 3 months to the general elections that they didn't introduce any bill to ensure the Chairman of the ECK had an extended term or that appointments to the body were independent. Essential bills were left unpassed ...massive lack of quorom and excessive politicking characterised all the past 5yrs ....

Hopefully the 10th Parliament is going to change things.....the fact that a great percentage of them are new faces who got in either riding on party euphoria ..(popularly known as 3piece voting) where we vote for an individual without caring about a persons credentials....so long as he/she bears your party name. The second reason we have new people is that the president elect didn't support any candidate in his strongholds and also that his party was a loose coalition of independent parties.... allowing new comers to beat incumbents including powerful ministers....which was a good precedent on his part ....only it leaves him with few MPs to run a government with.

The last thing which is heartbreaking is that Kenyans are killing and hurting each other and looting as a protest to an election outcome ....yet the leaders who should be responsible enough .......instead of calling for calm either choose to remain mumb in the state house ......or instead decide to incite poor Kenyans to attend an illegal inaguaration....

And the question which begs answering .....is Why are we so gullible? We fall for the same lies and promises over and over and over again.....we re-elect the same age old politicians....I'm not saying they are bad or evil.....I'm just saying with all their goodness ....love for the people and the country and zeal for reform.... non of the leading candidates we had this year have the capability of leading a 3rd world country in this century.......their ideas are the same ideas they had 20 years ago.....that is why we are still going to hear calls of pandeni Kahawa tuondoe umaskini..... or Majimbo ndio itasaidia Wakenya...calls urging coffee planting or federalism as the solution for our modern day problems such as disparities in living standards between the rich and the poor .....or access to amenities such as hospitals of the people in rural Kenya .....or even a country with wonderful sportsment and women who do not seem to earn their due

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Loving life and living it. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)
Give yourself completely in everything for that is love and only when we love can we find God.