Voters emerged ultimate winners in 2022 elections
The just-ended elections were loaded with expectations and mixed feelings. It is the first time in Kenya we had what I may call mongrel presidential candidacy.
Picture the following: The outgoing President supported the opposition leader to take over from him, running against his deputy of 10 years. At this juncture, the deputy was effectively the official opposition leader, while the opposition leader was the deputy president.
Ostensibly two leading horses were running, but immediately, one horse showed more signs of winning, and the opposing horse transformed into a lamb through induced mass and selfish defections. Where am I going with this narrative? Follow me.
While the politicians indulged in their usual shenanigans of double-crossing each othe, throwing jibes solely depending on who topped up your account last or who is warming your duvet, the voters stayed calm and collected all this while.
There was palpable tension across the country, more from previous nasty experiences than current happenings. The voters proved some diplomatic security pronouncements wrong. They proved the skeptics wrong. I feel proud to be a Kenyan voter. The few who aired their views on media gave out very inspiring voice-outs, the common denominator being “we are not fighting for anyone anymore”.
This observation cannot be taken for granted. It is a sign of an awakening populace that has realised that our common interests as a nation must always supersede individual politicians’ ambitions. It is time to call out the politicians and put them on the straight and narrow. They need to realign themselves to the current Kenyan renaissance, put their parochial interests on the back burner and raise the national good above the bar.
Politicians of all cadres need to understand that losing is not a terminal disease. Instead, it is an accelerated lesson of how to do things differently, embrace losing with dignity and learn to concede with honour. Mgala muue na haki uumpe (Give credit where it is due). There were honourable politicians who not only conceded defeat but also joined the winners in their maiden meet the people victory tours. This is what we are preaching – unity of purpose.
Violence has always been a drawback to the lower rags of the economy where the populace lives. Broken stalls, roads, and schools to name but three, will hurt Wanjiku more, and that is why peace should override in all aspects of our lives.
The civil and logical avenue of redress is the Judiciary. Let all who are aggrieved make it their point of call. While at it, it pays to respect our well-grounded constitutional institutions and give them all the support they need to grow and thrive, be it budgetary allocations, personnel, and good working relationships.
Let us agree to disagree without the need to bleed so we can lead. We are one people, one huge family. We must preserve this at all costs.
To the winners at all levels, we call upon you to desist from grandstanding and sabre-rattling. Kenya is not a trophy. It is a living nation with a culture, dreams, aspirations, and a very diligent and optimistic people.
Reach out to your competition and have the grace to include them in the building of this nation, remembering that their input will add value in propelling us forward as a people. This is the moment to call all hands-on deck. The economy is bleeding with a ten trillion debt hanging around our necks, erratic weather threatening our food security, and educational reforms yet to take root.
Dear Kenyans, I am proud of you. Never again should you opt for violence. Never again should we be pigeonholed as war-like people.
Let us arise and build our homeland. It will not be easy and it will not happen in a day. But our resilience proved over hundreds of years of overcoming hardships will overcome all hurdles and take us to the top.
—The writer is an educationist, digital content and curriculum developer and researcher