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My hopes and prayers for Kenya on elections and covid pandemic

Kamotho Waiganjo

We need this virus to return to its base in 2022 and leave us to our traditional challenges. [David Njaaga, Standard]

It is the first Saturday of 2022, and with it comes an opportunity to share my hopes and prayers for this year, which happens to be our election year. For that reason, my first prayer is for a peaceful election. One whose results will be accepted by all that participate, even the losers.

That places a heavy responsibility on the IEBC and the Registrar of Political Parties whose mandates in the election management process is about to be expanded through the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill.

Let me say in passing that the Bill, which is the subject of so much furore, is generally good for the institutionalisation of political parties, save for a few clauses that run contra to the Constitution, and appear be fashioned to resolve 2022 election matters.

I pray that wisdom will prevail so that we produce a bipartisan law that can assist in decontaminating party politics. As long as our party politics are dirty, they will gravely pollute our national politics.

I pray that our parties and candidates will abide by this law and other election laws and manage a dignified campaign which does not result in unnecessary public conflicts.

Wise voters

As for the voting public, I hope that time has made us wiser. There is no politician worth getting injured, let alone dying for. None would ever be injured on your behalf. 

On the election results, we cannot afford to have a repeat election either through nullification, or inability of any candidate to cross the 50 per cent plus one threshold. We need a definite winner in round one whoever that may be.

The billions we spent in a repeat election in 2017 had no return on investment. On a related issue, I pray that we will have a government that we can be proud of in 2022. While the national polls are almost predictable and driven largely by irrationality, we have a chance to redeem ourselves at the county and parliamentary elections.

We can vote people who will make a difference and not have to whine for five years. My second prayer is that the epitaph on covid-19 will finally be written. The last two years have been tough for everyone as we have navigated an unknown terrain of lockdowns, curfews, and mandatory vaccinations.

Away with covid

We are a resilient people. We have survived so far but this holiday has been especially tough, complete with families being separated through vaccine certificates.

We need this virus to return to its base in 2022 and leave us to our traditional challenges. Related to this is a prayer that in 2022, our economy will improve for the vast majority of Kenyans.

The popularity of the “hustler movement” speaks to the banishment of many Kenyans into the periphery of the economy.

While many were struggling before the pandemic, the lockdowns and general slowdown in the economy pushed many more “hustlers” to the edge of the precipe.

They are willing to hold onto any hope, and if the hustler movement at least acknowledges their plight, they will identify with it, even as they recognize that political promises are illusory. May it be that the battering that is associated with our election year will be unknown this season, and that we will thrive.   

Finally, I pray that we will be a kinder, gentler, less violence-prone people. The scenes this week at Parliament, coming after a season of school arson, left one with a depressing feeling for Kenya.

Our current leaders resolving their issues through fisticuffs.

Our future leaders resolving their issues through destructive violence. May 2022 be a year of renewal where we bury this Kenya in the kaburi ya sahau.

In the meantime, to all my friends, foes and others, may 2022 give you blessings beyond your wildest dreams.

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