Paying tribal political debts is primitive. Period.

Some of the Ballot Boxes that were used in the 2022 general elections. [File, Standard]

Migration and settlement saw the Luo and Abagusi people occupy Nyanza region. The Luhya community Western region while Central Kenya was occupied by the Agikuyu, Aembu, Ameru and Ambeere people. Such patterns of settlement are seen across the nation. 

After attaining independence, our politics, economy and social lives became nationalised. Our people intermarry and tribes are not necessarily specific to a given area. Our politics, for so many years, has been conducted along tribal lines with national leaders being looked at as tribal kingpins. We have seen coalitions and political parties being crafted based on tribes, not ideologies.

For a candidate to have higher chance of winning elections, the tribal tyranny of numbers has to be considered. Presidential candidates and their deputies must on that account, come from the most populous communities. Such arrangements have since given birth to a political malady - paying political debts - for which a cure must be found.

We read on social media and daily newspapers about politicians paying tribal political debts to each other. Such statements are a catalyst that further divides people based on tribal lines.

We must always preach the sermon of unity among the people of Kenya. The sermon that makes our people see themselves as Luhya, Kikuyu, Mijikenda or Kalenjin, etcetera,  is one that we must exorcise. It is not healthy for our growth and co-existence.

Retrogressive politics of communities paying debts to each other take us back to the dark days. What this means is that members of marginalised communities will never make it to the presidency regardless of their qualifications and abilities. Come the worst, we will forever have the top two communities or the top four communities in terms of population-producing presidents and their deputies interchangeably.

The only political debt our leaders should carry is delivering on their manifestos. Let us craft a system where politicians strive to excel in performance. The politics of tribal kingpins is primitive and sidelines other communities. Coalitions and political parties should be formed based on ideologies and personalities, not tribes.

If the leadership imagines it is not indebted to those in Eastern, then we will never have the famous River Enziu bridge built. We will never realise growth in the less populated Lamu and Taita Taveta among other regions with small populations that cannot be owed. It should be understood that the danger of tribal debts in politics is creating leaders who will not respect their commitments to transforming the nation.

Let us make it clear to our leaders that we are one. We love and cherish our diversity. However, we are not agents of settling political scores. All we want are politicians delivering on promises they made during their campaigns. We refuse tribal politics and tribal debts in politics. We will only vote in qualified leaders. Politicians are indebted to all of us regardless of our tribes, religion, race and status.

Mr Wanda is a teacher