For the last 50 plus years, politicians have played the tribal cards to acquire and retain power. Sadly, we have given them the audience, and they have utilized our myopia to their advantage. They have made us puppets and they have been pulling the right strings: Tribe, religion, gender, money – you name them. “Mwizi wetu!”, meaning, “Our Thief!” You have heard us proclaim as if theft was a Nobel Peace Prize or an Olympic Gold medal.
We have cheered and excused the crooks, and they have charmed us with their outrageous misdeeds, played us like a seasoned musician who has mastered the art of playing a violin; ultimately convincing us to elect them over and over again. The shameless “leaders” have proceeded to give empty promises, attend meaningless harambees, eat in our local vibandas and have deceived us to stand with them because “we are one!”.
Take Nairobi county as an example, where the Governor has been seen in the recent past using his access to the county coffers to end his problems with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Sonko is said to have bribed the detectives so as to avoid investigations on his corruption cases. Nairobians had hopes in Sonko and elected him as their Governor but nothing to show for the people of Nairobi two years later. Let us not wail over how Nairobi or Kenya is chocking in corruption; or how our beloved city is buried in filth. If we continue voting for parties/coalitions instead of individuals, tribes instead of character, money and empty promises over integrity and incorruptibility; then we should not whine over denied services and worsening economic times. Worse still, if we do not vote, then we will have voted for corruption and social decay. We must desire better leadership because we are a great people, and we deserve the best.
The price of poor leadership is too high to be wished away. It is even more expensive when the people fail to vote. Shockingly, some ignorant voters even sell their votes to these crooks. A paltry Kshs.200 shillings or a leso would do. African “democracy” is dirt cheap, yet it has been extremely rewarding for the crooked politicians. They have stolen from us more than a hundredfold. The repercussions come in tax increase and inflation. Heck, you may even call it Eurobond, NYS or Youth Empowerment scams. Whatever you call it, it is payback for our ignorance. A thousand pounds for every penny invested. Nothing is free in this world.
A loaf of bread was Kshs.20 less than a decade ago. Now the same loaf of bread costs Kshs.50. A family that spent Kshs.100 on food per day then would today spend more than Kshs.500 on food alone. Let us do the math: Kshs.400 extra times 365 times 5; for the 5-year terms these crooks stay in power. That’s how expensive a Kshs.200 handout is. In other words, we are hung to dry for our foolishness. Is it worth it? The people of Nairobi and Kenya at large should think widely, we have another chance come 2022 to rectify this.