Kenyans Whine about #Mpigs and #vultures, then vote most of them right back in. #BallotRevolution?

For starters, I’ll start blaming mediocre leadership on politicians  as soon as one politician gets his/her filthy hand into my pocket,chucks out my voter’s card and then proceeds to vote for him/herself!

I used to hate it when people said that “we deserve the political leaders we’ve got”, or “political leaders are a mirror to the society” . However, after careful analysis, the phrases seem to have more than a mere grain of truth.

How do politicians get elected? The “best” of them “listen” to the electorate. They familiarize themselves thoroughly  with the “issues” that the voters hold dear. The issues might be the traditional ones (employment, infrastructure, education etc) to social ones (eg tribe, religion, race). The social consensus on “issues” is arrived at depending on the values of a particular society, and the level of enlightenment of the most influential members of that particular society.     

The most important skill a politician need is the ability to decipher the “issues” and eloquently  amplify them. The voters identify with the politician as representing their views. They follow such an individual and eventually vote for him.

The unfortunate thing is that as a group, people tend to have an average IQ of the dumbest of them all, and as such the kind of “issues” that will gain prominence are at best non-issues and at worst destructive ones. The politician might subscribe to the issues he’s expounding on, then again he/she might  just be using the issues as stepping stones to an elective position.

The upshot: the followers (voters) set the agenda for the leaders, and then  elect the person who most eloquently amplifies that agenda. The tragedy of democracy is that it’s the rule by majority and if the majority in a community are engaged in trivia…

If you feel the need to blame someone for the leadership woes in your country or constituency,blame the voters or better yet, find a mirror…

Until the intellectuals get involved in setting the elective agenda in the society, we’ll always have mediocre leadership and the best we’ll do about it is whine in our blogs and scientific journals.

I have listened to the various contestants’ debates and I’m sorely disappointed. In all these debates,a contestant needs to have done something for the society: built a bridge,paid fees for some needy students,bought water tanks for women groups, funded football tournament for the youth, built a few classes in a school…

From all that, several things stand out:

1. We have no idea what an elected official is supposed to do,i.e, we don’t know the job description of an MP or county representative. CDF hasn’t helped matters a whole hell of a lot.
2.We’ve actively encouraged the routine crossing of the very thin line between campaigning and outright bribery(corruption).

3. To paraphrase the good book, It’s easier for a camel to enter through the eye of the needle than for those who’ve not amassed wealth, mostly the youth,to get elected. The means towards the attainment of the mountain of wealth needed for the “projects”  is pretty immaterial.

And maybe, just maybe  we vote for those corrupt, tribal, leaders because that’s what we are and what we’d become if we were given the opportunity- without naming names Kabando wa kabando & Mutava Musyimi being cases in point…                              


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2 Responses to “Kenyans Whine about #Mpigs and #vultures, then vote most of them right back in. #BallotRevolution?”

  1. Alex Says:

    Perhaps its time to start having a conversation about the roles of these elected representatives? If we don’t know what it is they’re supposed to do, then we can’t begin to assess their policies or ideologies, if any, can we? I for one have no idea what a senator is for, but I shall now make an attempt to find out.

    • Njuguna Ngugi Says:

      Maybe they are supposed to build roads,give us Bursaries for our children,fund women and youth projects, and create employment for the youth…

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