Kenyans, What the Hell Do You Have to Lose Voting for NASA’s Raila/Kalonzo Ticket?
By Dorcas S
Both President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have been cleared to compete in the August 8, 2017 General Elections by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after successful presentation of their nomination papers this past weekend.
Presentation of the certificates marked the beginning of the end of the race for State House and the outcome of the race, regardless of who wins, is in the hands of you the voter. Additionally, the reaction/response (joy of victory or agony of defeat) to the outcome will be up to each individual voter, independent of what either principal (RAO or UMK) tell me or tell you.
On a personal note, if as I hope, Raila Odinga carries the day, I will celebrate like I did back in November 2008 when America elected its first African-American/Kenyan POTUS. I will then set me eyes on him and hold his feet to the fire like I have done with the incumbent Mr. Kenyatta.
If on the other hand Uhuru Kenyatta garners re-election, I will mope around and gripe for a while – like I did when DJT pulled the improbable back in November 2016 – over Hillary Clinton. I will then straighten up and go back to work – holding him accountable like I have done since he escaped the claws of Fatou Bensouda back in 2015 and before.
The one thing I will NOT do, regardless of who wins or loses, is destroy property or more importantly, destroy personal relationships.
To paraphrase Barack Obama, the sun will rise on November 9, 2017 whether Raila Odinga wins OR loses. Similarly, the sun will set the evening of November 9, 2017 whether Uhuru Kenyatta wins or loses.
The foregoing aside, this race is NOT a choice between a glass that’s half-full or one that’s half-empty. It is about the blatant manipulation of the taps that fill the glasses – for political and financial expediency – by those in power no less – and their family and friends.
The choice between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga is NOT between the “devil you know” and the “devil you don’t know” as some would have us believe. It is between two “devils” – Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga – Kenyans know only too well and their body of works – over their public lives.
One was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and comported himself likewise while using the resources of the country like his family’s bank account. The other, also born of means, chose a path of public service oftentimes by any means necessary. Kenyans are poised to have a Constitution-driven democratic elections thanks to his efforts AND sacrifice.
The race is a choice between what we want as a society as embodied by the two leaders we are about to choose.
Do we want a demonstrably corrupt and unaccountable “devil we know” incumbency or a demonstrably less corrupt “devil we know” who is also a demonstrable agent of change and is desperately needed to shake up the currently ossified and moribund status quo?
Back in 2013, Kenyans decided to stick it to “the man”, to those “foreigners” who arrogantly told them that “choices have consequences”. The country voted for the coalition of crimes-against-humanity suspects who promised to “digitize” the country past the “analogue” corruption and ethnocentric incompetence of yesteryears. They were told that they would have food on the table, access to basic healthcare and safe and secure communities. They were also told that Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto were going to be incorruptible because they “both had their own money” thanks to membership in the country’s richest family AND the work ethic and ethos of a “hustler”.
At the risk of repeating myself, the results are in for Mr. Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto. The two have presided over the most corrupt government in Kenya’s 50+-year history; one that is equally incompetent and unaccountable. So to borrow a line from Mr. Trump, let me ask this of Kenyans:
What the hell do you have to lose voting for Mr. Odinga and Mr. Musyoka come this August?
– Your families are hungry because of poor planning and corruption,
– Your current president, his family and his deputy are all corrupt,
– You are not safe in your homes nor on your streets thanks to rampant insecurity and trigger-happy law enforcement,
– You don’t have access to basic healthcare, in part because of malfeasance by the current president’s sister and his cousin,
– Unemployment is sky-high even as you fight for jobs with those you’ve been told are “partners” and will “train and transfer technical skills” to Kenyans.
The way I see it, better Raila – the “devil you know who is a demonstrable agent of change” than Uhuru – the “devil you know who has proven to be corrupt, incompetent and unaccountable”.