Kenya like all other nations in the world belongs to its citizens. The future of the Kenyan state therefore lies in the hands of Kenyans. The general election is less than a year away and the problems we face could not be more evident. The cost of living is increasing everyday and many Kenyans are barely surviving. Unable to pay rent, fees, an emergency away from poverty. Despite this situation personalities and not policies continue to dominate the news.
The solutions to the problems we face lie with us. we have a responsibility to vote. Indeed with great power comes great responsibility. Just as we have the power to resolve the issues that bedevil our beloved nation we have the power to make an already bad situation even worse. In the next ten month as politicians prepare for elections by shifting alliances and forming coalitions that suit their interests we should prepare as well by engaging in civic education and ensuring we hold each of them accountable. Their track records and not tribal allegiances should take centre stage.
Policy should be the basis on which we vote. As John F Kennedy said ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’. So, what can we do for our country. First, it is the responsibility of every Kenyan who has attained the age of 18 to register to vote. This is crucial if we wish to secure a better tomorrow for our beloved country. Secondly, it is critical that every Kenyan in this group understands the power of the right to vote and exercises it responsibly.
What problems face our country and who has the best solutions to these problems. That should be the question at the forefront of every media coverage on the upcoming elections and every conversation we have with our friends and family. The tribe one happens to be should not be a consideration but I would be remiss if I did not tell you it is and that is the source of tension in our nation every five years. Something politicians say we need to eradicate but exploit as soon as it suits them.
I long for a country where the candidate with the best policy to resolve the issues we face leads. I long for the day elections do not cause tension and push investors away. I long for the day when Kenyan enterprise is thriving and we have access to quality affordable health care and every child has access to quality and affordable education. I long for the day when we have transparency in our justice system, when parliament is filled with people addressing the issues we face. I long for a Kenya that is free of corruption and tribalism.
That Kenya is impossible without a responsible citizenry. A citizenry that votes and debates issues on the basis of policy and not tribe or popularity. A citizenry that appreciates the difference between a politician and a leader, indeed being the most prominent of politicians does not necessarily mean you are the best leader. Yet that seems to be the Kenyan approach, one that equates popularity with competence. So, this election let us change our approach and vet candidates on their competency and not their popularity. Indeed the citizenry is the most powerful force for change. Kenya will only change for the better if we elect to do so.
Kenya is our state, it is our responsibility and it is our future at stake.
Register to vote and vote responsibly.
2 thoughts on “Our State, Our Responsibility, Our Future,”
Amazing… I wish all Kenyans could see things the way you do. We are the problem and we need to sort ourselves out for our country’s sake.
Truly we need to change the conversation on who is most impacted by the vote it is not candidates but actual citizens who win or lose