By S G N
Last week, I boarded a matatu along Mombasa Road, directly opposite Panari.
The driver, sighed in exasperation, saying there are no customers and business is at an all time low. Without further prompting, he explained people are leaving Nairobi in droves.
“Watu wameachilia mamboch, waende home and wasee wameenda ocha wale wenye hawana job,” he explained. Not that I’m not aware that many families are releasing their house helps (most come from Western Kenya and Nyanza) as we approach elections. There will be a significant population reduction in Nairobi no doubt and this significantly will increase Raila’s votes in Western as most houselps and jobless youths were registered in rural areas before they moved to the capital. Although Jubilee may think Raila votes will reduce in the city due the safty concerns, infact its to the contrary.
The driver complained that in the last few days, in a day they are making increasingly less than what they collect in a day.
He also said that some leaflets had been distributed in Mlolongo that ‘aliens’ should vacate and he had been warned that if his candidate loses, he will see hell.
He was understandably paranoid, and I treated his fears with a pinch of royco, since I haven’t seen in the news that leaflets have circulated around Mlolongo.
But all’s not well. I have seen in a number of WhatsApp Groups ‘SAFETY TIPS’ ahead of elections. All of them revolve around, stocking enough food, should there be protracted violence, some advise to take the families to safer spaces and I’m sure richer families will be on vacation conveniently this August.
The security tips also tell us to scan all our worldly documents and certificates, have money at the time, have Fast Aid kits and all.
I also saw another ones meant for expatriates and the NGO community. No shade, but NGO people even Kenyans live like expatriates, and that often provokes a wry smile on me.
I’m not trying to downplay this Middle-Class proclivities, and angst ahead of our elections. I will probably follow the instructions.
But guys what country are we living in? We have peaceful in the last four and half years, what makes this period so laden with fear? And is this the best way to live our lives?
Scary is that those in Jubilee think Raila is too much with his left and right accusations of IEBC, the Judiciary, the police, the Military. Those in NASA, think that every fear that Raila expresses is within reason, since they trust his intelligence.
That makes it too difficult for the two groups to to mistrust each other so much, yet we need each other the most.
Personally, whether you vote for Uhuru or Raila, I want you as my friend after August 8. I want us to have a drink, I want us to do business, I want to eat together.
We will never agree on many things in life. I support Arsenal, you Support Manchester United, I hate you for that, but that does not mean we can’t watch a match together. You are a Presbyterian, a Catholic, an Atheist and I’m an Adventist, that does not that we can’t reason together. You like Beyonce, I’m crazy over Kelly Rowland, that does not mean we can’t enjoy music together in a club. You eat Mukimo and I don’t like it, that does not mean we can’t have lunch on the same table.
Same for elections.
When teaching us about the Basic Concepts in Political Science, the legendary Professor Peter Wanyande told us, you have friend, and the friend does is agree with you all the time, he is a useless being, and should do away with them.
I apply the same principle in my life. I differ with my brothers. I differ with my wife. I differ with my closest friend and that is what enriches life.
If I was a boss somewhere and you came in talented and you were from a different tribe, subscribed to a different religion, went to a different university, I will hire you immediately, because I cherish difference and diversity. I’m not saying to sound politically mature or bullshitting here. My life is richer in Nairobi than Kisii town.
So, go ahead vote for your candidate, and you can trust me that I will respect your choice and we will still be friends after elections. If your candidate wins fairly, buy me some drink. If my candidate wins, I will do the same.