Third Eye

How you vote next week will decide your future

Thursday, August 4th, 2022 00:00 | By
Poll agents lawmaker
IEBC officials observe voting during the 2017 General Election at a polling station in Mombasa. Photo/PD/FILE

The mad season is soon coming to an end, hopefully. Politicians have been at it for the last three months, some even years now. As fate would have it, we jumped from the frying pan into the fire, coming seamlessly as we struggle to recover from the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On August 9, millions of Kenyans will troop to polling stations countrywide to complete the five-year electoral cycle. As is usual in Kenya, they will be spoilt for choice, especially with the candidates that rank low on the political food chain.

Well, we are a reflection of the leaders we select, so we should keep our peace when we elect people that should never handle public coffers. The litmus test for the right leader is the one that we would like as our children’s role model.

As I have said here before, this election should not be about rhetorical manifestos that amount to nothing once the candidates are elected. It is about the integrity of those who will take over the Exchequer and invest the money on our behalf.

Regardless of your hate or bias, do you want to go ahead with a team of the tried and the tested, or with a group of gung ho gamblers? Would you rather hitch a ride with a modest but sure driver, or jump into a roller that is likely to fall off the hinges at top speed? 

 Anyway, if Raila takes it, he will have ascended through merit. While he is not an angel, no mature Kenyan can underestimate the grave sacrifices that Raila has made for this country.

Moreover, going by our African cultural values, it is the height of folly for politicians to insult the former Prime Minister, simply by the fact that he is an elder Statesman. Respect should come first before greed.

Raila’s combination with fellow reformist, running-mate Martha Karua, is indeed a solution to Kenya’s woes.

If Ruto loses, then he can lick his wounds and restrategise for another stab five years from now. He is still young, energetic and has a great political career ahead of him.

At least he will be comforted by the fact that his predecessors, particularly those who have been at the helm during the multiparty era, were in the trenches for long before being elected. Having been in the system for some three odd decades, Ruto understands baptism by fire.  At the end of the day, however, it should matter less where one stood on the political divide.

We are all Kenyans and no one should discriminate or judge a fellow citizen based on their political choices. We all have a country to develop and nurture and must close ranks after the dust settles.

In fact, it will be the height of political maturity for victors to invite those losers who have something to offer to the negotiating table.

After all, someone told us the other day that similar to predators in the wild, politicians are cousins fighting each other for prey — the electorate. Otherwise, they are birds of a feather and easily coalesce to serve their selfish interests.

But make no mistake. This election is about the soul of Kenya, which has been torn to tatters by grand corruption. Your choice should be sincere about who, in your estimation, can eradicate this vice without fear or favour. It has been done before in other countries, so the nonsense that “this is Kenya” does not wash.

Those who cannot stand the heat should not attempt to get into the kitchen. Ultimately, take this to heart, fellow Kenyans: “A vote is not a Valentine. You are not confessing your love for the candidate. It is a chess move for the world you want to live in.”

— The  writer comments on current affairs

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