Monday, January 21, 2013

What the Party Primaries in Kenya have shown us

The last few days have seen the Political Parties nominate their candidates for the various positions in the coming 4th March Elections. The party primaries were interesting in many ways. The most positive observation is just to see parties have nominations, this for me is a good start of things to come. However, from the said nominations a number of lessons are worth noting. 


First, Regardless of how good your ideas are, you need touch with the people. Politics is 10% ideas but 90 % personal touch. People want to know you feel with them and understand their issues. Ofcourse there are places where some money did the magic (ofcourse very temporal) but in the overall those with strong grassroot touch won the day.



A second lesson is that it takes time to reform a system. Fixing the car is the easy part, fixing the driver is rather hard. It requires a hard decisions and courage to act. So no surprises that some politicians are still on the hung ups of the old system - vote buying, rigging, intimidating returning officers and causing violence. When we enacted a new constitution in August 2010, many of us relaxed hoping that it would lead to change. That has been largely challenged as MPs (a majority of them) have worked to water down any provision that would be to harsh on their old way of doing things. The celebration and rest must now end. We need vigilant people to ensure that our country is progressive. 



Thirdly, is that people can only be pushed too far. This is especially when their expectations are not met and yet their support is taken as a granted. This is particularly important for those desirous of leading this great country in various positions, they must work to serve the people. 



Fourthly, that maybe not all positions should be elective as it ends up attracting the most popular and not necessarily capable person. Governor is such a position that I think should have been appointed with the approval of County Assemblies. Ofcourse democracy interprated as the rule of the majority means that whoever they elect gets the position.



Lastly, is that a country is not changed online. Many of us the good professionals, elites and middle class, were very active on the social media describing the candidates we thought would bring the change we desire but never went to nominate them. Come 4th March we have no choice but to elect from among those who have been short-listed for us. Hope we will make better choices then and give our country the leaders it deserves.


In Service to God and Our Country
Abraham Rugo Muriu

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