The people of Msambweni constituency have expressed their voice through the ballot in the just-concluded parliamentary by-election.
By electing independent candidate Feisal Bader, the electorate exercised their constitutional right to front a person they believed embodied their aspirations beyond political party affiliation.
The outcome is a building block in the enterprise of governance reform that Kenyans across the country truly desire.
In the same light, the swift and magnanimous move by Orange Democratic Movement Candidate Omar Boga to concede and rally his supporters behind Feisal is a hallmark of democracy and good governance. When candidates acknowledge defeat, they legitimise the outcome of the elections and close ranks in the interest of development and progress of the electoral jurisdiction.
As a party, ODM has also proven, through its candidate that respecting the will of the people is the name of the game.
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In consolidating the gains made in Msambweni, Kenyans should desist from using the vote to create unhelpful divisions and political camps with nefarious objectives. The subject of electoral justice has been a thorny issue in Kenya’s history.
Our collective missteps as a country has often resulted in tragic ends – lives and property have been lost, ethnic divisions have been entrenched and while national unity has remained only a distant dream.
It was therefore no surprise that electoral reforms including on inclusiveness, and professionalism of the electoral agency were part of the Building Bridges Initiative spawned by the 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The BBI proposes an opportunity for Kenyans, in all their walks and ranks, to synergize their thoughts on creating a better country.
Some political voices are instead leveraging the outcome of the Msambweni vote to roll back the already consolidated ground towards fashioning a new Kenya. The hustler-dynasty narrative is out of tune with the progressive music in anticipation of a more prosperous, united and peaceful Kenya. Our politics should be based on ideas and track record of those aiming for public office and not the size of their pockets or first language.
Secondly, to insinuate that Kenya should deviate from its reform agenda, including on the BBI would be to entertain retrogression. No single person has the magic bullet to fix Kenya. It will take the voices and energies of all Kenyans to make the much needed incremental reforms that guarantee viability and wellbeing of the state and its people.
Like ODM’s Omar Boga, let us be humble enough to respect the wishes of Kenyans, on the understanding that only citizens can grant the leadership mandate. Leaders of whatever rank, must begin to compete on the basis of ideas, goodwill, patriotism, integrity and service to the people. Balkanizing the nation on imaginary catchphrases neither serves our national interests nor creates better lived experiences for ordinary Kenyans, who happen to be the majority.
-Mr Adhere comments on governance issues @Cavinceworld