We are a very fascinating country. Our leaders â€“ a very disgusting lot – are experts at elevating hopes and expectations of the people only to dismantle them prematurely. At the eve of independence, our people were very buoyant of a vivacious life in the absence of the dreaded white imperialists.
What followed the departure of our â€œoppressorsâ€ is regrettable. We only swapped the white colonialists with black tyrants worse than our former masters. The promises of our founding fathers were empty rhetoric. Instead of giving Kenyans a splendid life; they preyed on their subjects grabbing massive tracts of land at the expense of the innocent, landless and ignorant Kenyans.
During the fight for multiparty democracy in the early 90â€™s, Kenyans were again pregnant with hope of an upcoming stretched political democratic space. Grippingly, the heightened hopes were soon trodden when multiparty democracy failed to achieve its anticipated purpose.
To ensure free, fair and transparent electoral process; Kenyans were told that the best thing to do was to do away with the â€˜mlolongoâ€™ system of voting. We thought that with the inception of the secret ballot, never will we encounter the monster of election rigging.
We never bothered to scrutinize the â€œsecretâ€ behind the secret ballot. Regrettably, stuffing of ballot boxes, pre-marked ballot papers and tampering with election figures became a common feature of every election. Winning an election isnâ€™t determined by your popularity but, how you play your â€œvotesâ€ well.
Kenyattaâ€™s era was autocratic. Moiâ€™s regime was tyrannical. The opposition championing change promised Kenyans that the best bet for a brighter future was a regime change. That is why in 2002, opposition parties united and formed a frail coalition â€“ Narc – with the sole purpose of toppling the dogmatic KANU regime and providing an alternative leadership.
That hope fast came crumbling down like a house of cards when Kibaki came to power. Even though minor positive advancements were made, the core target of uniting Kenyans and ending tribalism was never realized. The â€œunitedâ€ NARC became a curse. The leaders who promised change turned their back on Kenyans and took it as their â€œturn to eatâ€.
Another promise came. This one was even more promising. The solution to our biting problems will be a constitutional overhaul to bury imperial presidency. We were made to believe â€“ rightly, that the older constitution was devilish. In the process of drafting a new dispensation, powerful forces of impunity hijacked the process. We dealt their mischievous intentions a strong jab by shooting down the â€œWako draftâ€ with a â€œNO!â€ vote in 2005.
We were again promised in 2010 that a new draft was the black â€œMessiahâ€ for Kenyanâ€™s seemingly never ending tribulations. We rallied behind the change proponents and passed the new constitution that gave birth to the devolved system of government.
We thought â€“ ignorantly â€“ that impunity and its masters were finally dealt a final blow. That we will never again have to kiss the presidentâ€™s boots for development projects to reach our villages. Devolution we yearned for came, and as far as we have come with it, I think we need another promise!
During 2013 elections, political parties showered us with dozens of promises. To the common â€œmwananchiâ€, voting for jubilee would mean a new Kenya with electric train, employment for all the youth, modern stadia in all the 47 counties and districts among sooooâ€¦â€¦..many unrealistic promises apart from saving Uhurutoâ€™s skin from being roasted by Mr. Ocampo.
CORD had their fair share of promises. Creation of employment to all and sundry; implementation of the new constitution; an end to corruption and, an improvement of infrastructure, among other myriad of promises. Other parties also had their manifestoes full of incoherent promises but embarrassingly, Kenyans never bothered about them.
The electoral body, IEBC, digitized the registration, voting and transmission process. This meant that electoral malpractices often associated with the manual system of voting were never to resurface. We were upbeat of the future elections. We were promised that nothing will ever go wrong. Some of us accepted albeit with a pinch of salt.
Fascinatingly, this promise as others was stillborn on the very day of voting. The whole system stalled. It came down like the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. As usual, the chairman of this troubled commission being a typical Kenyan promised us that nothing would go wrong. Really! We were duped like silly brats!
Jubilee bulldozed their way into power. Their supporters made merry as fans of the â€œlosersâ€ mourned. We were again promised that we should worry not because â€œJubilee government will be a government of and for allâ€. Is it? I donâ€™t think so.
Uhuru and Ruto are in power and not surprising, they keep on promising us what they promised before they captured power. I bet these promises will continue until the end of their term when they will again promise us what they will do for us if we promise to give them another term. Surely, Kenya is a â€œPromise landâ€. I promise you this!!
The writer comments on social, political and economic issues affecting the world