Stop the campaigning and get on with your work

Deputy President William Ruto in Endebess after attending mass at Chepchoina Immaculate Catholic Church in Trans Nzoia County on May 18, 2019. [DPPS]

A person only has 24 hours in a day with which to accomplish everything, including sleeping and eating.

Our time is precious and that should be even more evident for public servants whose time is paid for by the general public.

Thus, those who are supposed to be “on the clock” and dedicating themselves professionally to furthering our national interests but are rather busying themselves with their own political future should do the right thing and resign their position.

This way, they will be free to spend every waking minute touring the country and making campaign speeches but not receiving funding from our hard-earned taxes for doing so.

Uhuru’s warning

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Already in October last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta warned leaders and other politicians against engaging in early campaigns for the 2022 elections, and instead focus on serving the electorate.

“We have elections every five years. Why can’t we wait for the next elections,” said the President at Uhuru Market in Nairobi. “Kenyans want service from those whom they elected.”

At the time, this was a mere gentle prodding by the President.

However, since then, the political campaigning, intrigue and attacks have gathered apace to the point where it must have a major effect on the ability of many of our leaders to serve the country first and only, and act towards their political future at the appropriate time.

All in a day?

There is so much to do every day that even a two-hour campaign event can take weeks of planning and divert large amount of resources and energy towards it.

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Even events that are supposed to be ostensibly for prayer, encouragement or gathering are becoming easily consumed by campaigning.

This time can be better utilised supporting Uhuru in his campaign against corruption, his Big Four Agenda or figuring out how we can bolster the massive infrastructure and development campaign which will ensure Kenya reaches its goals as laid out in Vision 2030.

For Kenya to succeed we must remain focused on the job.

“We must all agree to unite and support the President as we put our national energies on ensuring service delivery to the needs of youth, women and children are met without bias,” Deputy President William Ruto said in Kajiado County in February.

In other words, not only is the constant campaigning a drain on energy and morale, resources and time, it is also leading to great disharmony and disunity at a time when we need to remain united.

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President Kenyatta has demonstrated how much more can get done when it is done in a unified fashion.

For example, he has shown that reaching out to political opponents is far more fruitful than delegitimising them.

Unity at stake

Only a unified polity that has one focused goal can achieve its aims. Splits only assist those who thrive on combative and oppositional politics to the detriment of the rest of us.

However, it is the time that these politicians waste campaigning for elections around three years away that should worry us most.

By campaigning, these politicians are telling us openly and loudly that they are what is important and not the country and its people.

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They are putting themselves first and giving them another term in office makes little sense to all those who care about our future.

The next time we see or hear about a campaign rally or event, even if it is not called that by name, we should respectfully tell those involved and their supporters that they should be investing this time and the resources used to create the event to work for us, this is why we sent them to their offices in the first place.

Of course, while we look at the elections as three years away, for some, there is a case to be made for building support now.

Perhaps that will put them in the front seat of the elections, they might believe. However, their election depends solely on us.

We should be sending a clear message to our elected leaders that we will not judge you on your fancy campaigns and clever words but on the work you did for the people and the country.

A person who works every day that God gave him or her even up until the hours before the ballot box opens is someone who will get my vote, and they should get the support of the nation.

Mr Temba is a communication consultant

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President Uhuru Kenyatta2022 electionsBig Four Agenda