POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS ON THE HOME STRETCH
Politics is a dirty game. Who can sanitize it? This is a very disturbing question. In Kenya, the campaigns for political offices have commenced in earnest. We are on the homestretch towards electing our leaders during the general elections slated for 8th August. This is a special day. Let’s use it to strengthen our democracy not to weaken it. Let’s maintain peace by all means.
Voting Card Verification
The verification of validity of voting cards is ongoing. Tomorrow I will visit the nearest station to check whether my names are properly written, my photo is a true representation of myself. Kibera. Dagoreti and Kilimani. I am spoilt for choice.
Shambolic Party Primaries
The recently concluded political party primaries have been branded as shambolic for lack of a better word. The ruling political party at first expressed lots incompetency in managing the primaries. It is was until William was placed in charge of the exercise that we saw some form of order.
National Super Alliance (NASA) equally had lots of confusion going on during the nominations. It all started with direct tickets which attracted plenty of criticism from all quarters. The ruling party said that that is undemocratic. It real was.
Two horse Presidential race
The race to the State House is slowly crystallizing. It’s official that apart from Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, there are other candidates who want to occupy the highest office in the land.
The other candidates are as listed below:
- Abduba Dida – Alliance for Real Change Party
- Ekuru Aukot – Thirdway Alliance Party
- Khwa Jirongo Shakhalaga – United Democratic Party
- Juma Justus Onyango – Justice and Freedom Party
- Michael Wainaina Waweru – Independent
- Joseph Willium Nyaga – Independent
This is a special election considering that party hopping was not an option. Politics has a lot of surprises. The only option that politicians had was to compete as an independent candidates. It has been confirmed that there will be 4,000 independent candidates to square it out with those candidates who received nomination certificates from various political parties.
The whole concept of independent candidates is going to put the presidential candidates in a tricky situation. Stands have been declared. The NASA presidential candidate says that he does not support independent candidates. Jubilee on the other hand supports the independents.
The issue of independent candidates is new and there are different schools of thoughts. One groups says that ignoring the independent candidates is suicidal. My friend Duncan Otieno is a proponent of this school. In his recent article published on Democracy in Africa (DIA) he explains that every vote counts and as a result, even support from the independents and the supporters who subscribe to their politics should be welcome.
In the second school of thought, supports feel that independent candidates will weaken the presidency after the elections. It will lead to a situation where one wins the presidency but does not have a majority in national assembly or the Senate. There will be more independents in the two houses hence making it impossible to implement the “tyranny of numbers” when it comes to legislating some laws or policies.
Politics should focus on Ideas
As expected Kenyan politics is based on individuals and not ideas. The main opposition (NASA) is aiming to remove President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee from power.
So far what have they promised us? Nothing unique. Both have promised Kenyans free secondary education. This is an indirect way of saying that we will tax you more. In any case who will pay for the free secondary educations? It is you are me. Period.
There is nothing to be excited about. After August 8, we will continue re-paying the debts our current government has incurred so far. Nearly half of our salaries will be robbed from us in the name of income tax. We will continue struggling to put food on the table.
We pray God to safeguard us from the kind of food we eat. After the ballot will our youths continue suffering from unemployment? We need someone who comes with solutions not empty rhetoric. Look at me in the eyes and tell me. Who will create the jobs for our youths? Who will transform the economy? Who has the ability to slay the dragon of corruption? That is the man or woman who deserves my vote on August 8.
Let’s exercise well the powers in our hands.