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Wanjiku’s daughter will not be taken for a ride in 2022

By Michael Ndonye | May 7th 2021
Voters queuing during the 2013 general elections in Nairobi [Courtesy]

Dear aspirant, you crave for the presidency, you covet the State House, but you are likely to miss it if you lack a roadmap.

You have no appeal because you could be using the wrong strategy. Probably those who are busy building their election manifestos take your attention away. Sasa ngoya ngoyoe nguye ngwambie! People who say it can’t be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. It is painful to swallow the fact that excessive negativity and obstructionist attitude is outdated.

So, what do you have that, if elected, you will implement to make Kenya a better country? In the past, presidential candidates wasted time on non-issues and relied on ethnic loyalties. They lose most with thin margins. I have a dream that this insurance plan is out of date.

Hear me now! The 2022 electorate will be different. Consider their demographics—the millennial and Generation-Z will constitute almost 50 per cent of the voters. The bad news is that they don’t know or care about their ethnicity. Even though ethnicity still counts for voter mobilisation, this trend is dramatically diving. Majority of the new voters, who are Generation Z and borderline millennial, have mixed ethnicities.

The interests have shifted; they want to know how you will help them recover economically, how their fallen starter-ups will rise again, and coexist peacefully after elections as they recover from the Covid-19 impact. Generation-Z and the millenials do not care who the father of this or that is or who comes from which tribe and region.

Global village

Further, the millennial and Generation Z Wanjiku does not need to understand the constitution—what she needs to know is how her welfare will be taken care of!

They know what benefits their colleagues in other parts of the global village are getting. Do you have an explanation as to why their situation cannot get better?

This Wanjiku, unlike her mother, knows the difference between a candidate who has a plan and the one who has none at all. Has anyone presented his or her roadmap yet?

I challenge all presidential candidate to take a test. Randomly pick Kenyans on the streets and ask, “do you know what I have promised to do if I form the government after 2022?” Do you think the voter will be able to tell? If the voter knows nothing about your plan, then you have no promise for them. You must start planning and let people know what you have for them asap unless you plan to fail!

William Ruto and UDA have already pronounced their economic down-up model. Whoever thinks this isn’t the right one kindly present an alternative. We want to see and compare our notes. We should be analysing the different economic models or roadmaps. That’s the conversation we should be having now that we have less than 15 months to the General Election. Am I asking too much?

In Kenya, we cannot dismiss political propaganda, which is essentially the narratives of ethnic belonging, exclusion and inclusion, but it should come after manifestoes are spelt out.

All this ink is aimed at one big question: What policies does your party have that you will implement once elected?

Although not all voters read manifestos, they await to hear from you what you have for them. It’s time to hire think tanks to help you conceptualise your election manifesto to avoid regrets.

Dr Ndonye is a Political Economist of Communication

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