How the constitution(thru removal of party hopping) ensures that Kenyans will elect ONLY Old unpopular rich men.

Kenyans had never been happier than when they were promulgating the “new constitution”. Apparently the constitution was sold to them as the panacea of all ills afflicting them, short of taking them to heaven.

The constitution was not without its detractors who considered it the infamous Antichrist’s manuscript.

I had issues with the constitution not for the sins it was said to legalize, but for the mere fact that it appeared to me that the COE wrote a legal document divorced from a Kenyan social context. They cared little about the eventual implementation, or even the implications once operationalized. This is precisely why articles such as 81(b) have been such  devils to deal with,a story for another day…

What has all this got to do with the youth and women without tones of money facing a hard time being elected,one might ask. Permit me to take you through the situation that had necessitated the much demonised party hopping.

In popular parties, during elections for any post there are many contestants hoping to get the party’s ticket to fight it out with the other parties’ candidates at the main ballot. This is usually a headache because, more often than not, the leaders of those parties are in support of candidates who are not very popular with the electorate.

To get their preferred candidates on the ballot, the party leaders either give them direct nominations, and where not possible they rig the nominations in their favour.

The dissatisfied candidates and their supporters then jump ship to less popular parties who don’t have candidates for that particular seat,they are given the certificate and most end up defeating the people  who were rigged in at their expense.

This has ensured that popular youth and women  leaders who lack money to buy friendship at the high echelons of party leadership end up being elected! A case in point being Martha Karua who lost in Matiba’s Ford,went to kibaki’s DP and got elected to Parliament in 1992.

With the advent of the rules against party hopping, once you lose during the nominations,whether fairly or unfairly,one has no recourse for a second chance until the next elections.

Political hopefuls with tones of money, usually old men, are busy cosying up to the party leadership which might give them an undue advantage over their rivals. These also have the ability to mobilize enough voters to vote for them during the nominations. This is especially so given that many voters don’t participate in the party primaries (nominations). Most of us just wait to vote during the main elections.

The constitution through the political parties act now require that a person must be a member of a party for over two months before s/he can vie through the party’s ticket. I’m sure the parties will hold their primaries within the last month before the elections.

Since we made the bed,let’s lie on it. I’d still advice the youth and women to vie using less popular parties, unless they are guaranteed a direct nomination or they have the machinery to mobilize enough  voters during nominations in popular parties…                         


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