By Dorcas S
Elections 2017: What Do YOU Believe In?
It is a question I have repeatedly mulled over, especially in the run-up to August 8, 2017.
What do I believe in?
What do YOU – fellow Kenyan – believe in and VALUE – as a person, a spouse, a sibling, a parent, a citizen etc.?
What do Kenyans believe in?
We repeatedly identify (a) corruption, (b) safety & security – personal/food and (c) basic quality of life, usually determined by competent leadership as our top three concerns to wit: Kenyans believe in (a) incorruptible and (b) competent governance. They also believe in (c) safe and secure neighborhoods and resultant quality of life.
These are beliefs that you’d hope are reflected in the choices we make at the ballot box.
After all, didn’t we agitate against MPigs; those politicians who have perfected the art of “eating” from the national trough; make that national treasury. Unfortunately, we did – only to turn around and vote the same MPigs and kleptocrats into office.
We self-flagellate and ululate against tribalism and ethnicity yet contort ourselves into pretzels defending “our sons and daughters” accused of carrying off millions in gunias offering long-winded prevarications about “the need for due process” and “conclusive evidence” even when the accused admit to carting off the funds. We then turn right round and cheer extra-judicial killings, of “armed thugs” and “gang members who ‘terrorized’ the neighborhood” – by “our mbois in mburu” – all done without the same “due process” or “conclusive evidence” we readily afforded “our sons and daughters”.
Kenyans are among some of the most religious people in the world. They literally wrote the book on “prayer rallies”; seamlessly blending god, politics and business. Maybe that’s why the prosperity ministries of “Dr” Kanyari, “Prophet” Margaret Wanjiru, “Soothsayer” Oluoch et al, as sang about by the likes of Jimmy Gait, SBJ and other “musicians” is so popular. Does it come as a surprise that Kenyans are also some of the most corrupt people in the world – a people who confidently and comfortable say that it is “okay to steal so long as you are not caught”?
It is no wonder we cheer the likes of Waiguru, Kabura, Bruce Odhiambo, Ruto, Kihanya, Nyokabi, Kirubi and an endless listing of people who’ve either been accused of pilferage or gotten wealthy by nefarious means but offer token “oohs” and “aahs” at people who actually embody honesty and a demonstrable desire to do the right thing – like the “chokora” who returned KSh. 200,000 to its owner because in his words:
“inaweza kuwa ni pesa ya school fees ama mtu ako mgonjwa mahali sasa siwezi chukua” – “it may be (someone’s) school fees or for someone who is sick; given that, I could not take it.”
Now contrast this altruistic dispensation with that of persons Kenyans hold up as role models and paragons of success – people who sell tests and manipulate the test results – for a fee. Or “businessmen/women” who siphon off billions from a department whose mission is to tend to sick Kenyans.
An elemental truism: We are who we vote into office.
Another elemental truism: It doesn’t have to be that way.
So WanaKenya; what do YOU believe in and how will that belief be reflected in the choice YOU make at the ballot box come August 8, 2017?