Koigi Wamwere: Not all those who lose elections are depressed

Veteran politician Koigi Wamwere says not all those who lose elections are depressed.

“Those who are narrowly and unexpectedly defeated flourish quickly. The experience of defeat depends on a range of factors,” says Koigi, who is currently seeking the Nakuru Senate seat as an independent candidate.

 In the last General Election, Koigi lost the race for the Nakuru Senate seat. He says even partners’ lives are often turned upside down.

 “Their role is suddenly changed. For some, the possibility of spending more time together as a couple brings unexpected benefits to the marital relationship. For others, there was more strain, as impatience and resentment surface in the very different circumstances of post-politics life,” he said.

 Little wonder then that some serving politicians who spoke to The Nairobian were reluctant to contemplate any but the vaguest idea of leaving.

 Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama says, “It is something I prefer not to think about. My preferred life course is one where I take things one day at a time.”

 Mr Arama will be defending his seat on a Jubilee Party ticket in the August 9 polls.

 Jacob Macharia, who lost the Molo parliamentary seat in 2017 but is now in the race to reclaim it, says the most unfortunate thing after losing an election is that none seems to acknowledge your contribution over the years while in office.

 “Nobody seems to want to know you thereafter and you just fade away… there are those skills that could be used to encourage other people,” said Macharia.

 Loice Noo, a psychologist, notes that there is a need for politicians to join politics with preparedness for any uncertainty in the poll results.

 “First-time politicians need to develop the right shock absorbers before immersing themselves into politics. It can be extremely devastating for them if winning was the only thing on their mind, only to be disappointed,” said Noo.

 She added that financing of one’s entry into politics should be done cautiously to avert financial setbacks if one loses and has no way to bail themselves out.

 “How much one spends and the source of that money has a direct bearing on how hard a loss hits a politician. Some invest their pension and if they lose, they end up hating the people whom they see as traitors,” she said.

 She pointed out that in Kenya’s politics, handouts rule the game and determine how people stick to a politician but vanish once the taps run dry.

 “Aspirants should surround themselves with true friends who don’t stick around because of the money they get in the process of campaigning. This is the support system they will need when they lose and everyone walks out on them,” she said.

 Noo added that politicians should make plans on how an election loss affects their family and especially their children.

 “If a politician has young children and they lose an election, the shame also goes to the children especially if they are teens. Politicians should ensure such children or spouses have people to counsel them after the election,” said Noo.