Ultimately, elections should be won on a level playing field where, all the key factors being constant, the best man or woman gets the ultimate prize.
However, as we all know, this Kenya and nothing on the ground is really as good as it looks on paper. As report in this newspaper today, the 2007 elections were largely rigged in advance through the buying of voters’ loyalty, sometimes from as little as Sh100 or less.
It is a vindication for those who maintain that what happened on 2002 was a paper revolution. The real revolution that was meant to usher in a new dawn was stolen by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Politicians across the spectrum and in every village went out of their way to but influence using money that was either stolen from public coffers through corrupt deals, or secured from donors with dodgy backgrounds, including drug traffickers.
Ever wondered why Kenya has become a “Narco State” — the nickname give to a country whose economy is dominated by drug money — then wonder no more. The culture of corruption begins when that young man or woman makes the first decision to step into politics.
Initially, he might have the fire to serve the public interest, to make the lives of people in his community better.
Imagine, then, his rude awakening when he discovers that to make it in politics in Kenya you must have one of two things: a godfather or loads of cash.
Both have the power to corrupt one’s morals and ideals. The first ensures you are predestined to work according to a prepared script, which is more often than dictated by corruption.
The second can only be achieved in two ways. One is to borrow the money from a bank, which means mortgaging the family jewels.
The other is to get financing from “dirty” businessmen and lobbyists who finance the candidate’s bribery-fuelled campaign and grease the right palms to ensure your victory.
Once elected, you are enslaved to their interests and have already understood the benefits of falling in line.
Should you become a minister, you are in a prime position to push for them to get fat State contracts and in return for a percentage of the fee.