As we vote, let us all put Kenya first

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 01:13 | By
Kenyans queue to cast their votes at the Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi in the 2017 election. PHOTO/PD/File
Kenyans queue to cast their votes at the Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi in the 2017 election. PHOTO/PD/File

Between now and then, all Kenyans must feel obligated to put the interest of the country first. Kenya will still be there tomorrow. We all belong in it. What we have today is only a political contest which ideally ought to be settled at the ballot box. However, as we are all aware, aggrieved parties can and ought to seek redress through the courts.

Kenyans have conducted their public and political affairs commendably over the last 10 years. We have had numerous by-elections and the candidates accepted the verdict of the people and the electoral commission. There was no violence. This election should not be any different.

We all owe a peaceful transition to our children, who are waiting for the electoral cycle to end so that they can go back to school and do what they do best; learn, play and prepare for the future.

In the same way, citizens have a country and an economy to build. We have all suffered under the dark shadow cast by the economic shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is time to continue rebuilding the economy and, by extension, improving our personal and family economic standing. Lest we forget, past elections have left behind a host of economic shocks that not only hurt business processes, but also strangled the appetite for investment. Let us hope we have learned from those lessons.

Let us seize this opportunity to move the country forward, not backwards. It is in our collective interest as a people to remain united, to agree to disagree peaceably, and most of all, to understand that the electoral contest is just that; it is not a call to violence. Over the last ten years, Kenya has established itself as a respectable member of the community of nations. We have, as a nation, affirmed that we can competently run our internal affairs despite our disagreements. What we are called to do is to remain true to that identity by exercising our constitutional right to vote and responsibility to uphold peace and harmony.

There is, without a doubt, much we still need to do to improve our processes, including our elections and politics. However, we need to appreciate that this is a journey, not an event.

Should there be problems with the electoral process – as there are bound to be — let us seek solutions that will solve those problems without balkanising the country. We all belong here. There is no other place we call home. It is our duty to safeguard the integrity of our nation and demonstrate our will to obey the social contract we all signed when we promulgated the Constitution.

Vote wisely, and uphold peace; and let us preserve and respect our land and nation.

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