While some termed it as political non-sense that culminated in the recently concluded primaries others were happy to see some hardliners trounced, democracy prevailed…they would say. Social media was dominated with opinions from everyone who awarded themselves as political analysts and I was not left out. The case of Nairobi county where Jimna Mbaru won the hearts of many ‘tweeps’ , trended world wide with rants from people who thought that the turn out of the middle class to get out there and vote was very small. Most of us were busy on our gadgets dictating our opinions in the various social media timelines forgetting that the ones we term as ‘illiterate and poor’ were busy queuing so that they can have their voice heard. We have become a society where peer pressure is digital, but we don’t use it in the good way. How many of us…those who claim to want change have voters cards, how many of us ‘middle class’ will wake up on March 4thto go and vote? We say that politics is a dirty game, and that even if we vote democracy will not prevail…how about acting?
It is a misconception to think that the mediocre society can affect change in any political setting. Real revolutionary change comes about as a result of the gap between the affluent and the down trodden being unassailably expansive (when the poor are pushed to the wall). I have always been a supporter of the middle class being the saviour of our country. I mean we are learned and understand the trends of all spheres (economic, social and political) and are well educated about the constitution, or so I think. Judging from our digital era and having personalities hidden in social media how can the middle class save us yet we are indeed the problem.
The rich do they care? The middle class are complacent and the poor are seemingly helpless; very few if anyone hears their cry hence in the case on Nairobi county contest of governor, a Waititu leader would be their ideal candidate. In my opinion, until the mindset of the middle class and the poor change and merge only shall we free ourselves from the bondage of the opulent. Digital voting and social media forums help us to grow but it does not stop there, it does not stop at opinions but it goes all the way to the ballot box.
IRONY OF DEMOCRACY
In his article ‘Radical First step Toward Free and Fair elections In EAC Partners ‘ Dan Wandera Ogalo quotes ‘ Without Legitimacy and accountability there is no democracy’. A case of Siaya where its people demonstrated over what they termed as ‘false’ results is a déjà vue recipe of what started the 2007/2008 post election violence. The horrendous experience that Kenyans experienced following the flawed violence is still fresh in our minds, a case of dictated democracy. Is violence a monopoly to acquire political power? What is the point of democracy if its meaning is just but a mere term to gun votes for a candidate who claims a free and fair elections yet does not live by his sentiments?
My questions would not be whether we as Kenyans believes in democracy but can we tolerate the stipulates of democracy and the concept of multi-party politics? In his book, War,Guns and Votes-democracy in dangerous places’ Paul Collier writes of how winners of political seats protect power with the ideology of the inviolability of sovereignty. He goes ahead and picks Kenya as a case study and quotes ‘ The rules of fair competition for electoral victory gets sabotaged by autocrats who mobilize members of their own ethnic group to inflict violence on ethnic groups of their competitors.’ He claims that ‘violence against the Kikuyu was deliberate electoral strategy of Raila Odinga’
It makes me sick that Kenya should be a subject of analysis when it comes to post violence election opinion, but the sad thing is that all may not be true but a larger percentage of it is true. I sure do hope that March 4thwill not be a reflection of some of the outrage experienced in some parts of the country in the concluded primaries…I believe in fair elections and I believe that rigging can be a thing of the past, at least if we do away with digital voting, too much of an optimist? Well that’s my prayer.