Party primaries have confirmed that Wanjiku has grown wiser

Voters queue during ODM nominations at Nyakoko polling centre in Muhoroni Constituency on April 14, 2022. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Asiye kubali kushindwa si mshindani. This is a Kiswahili proverb that political bigwigs who have lost in the ongoing political parties primaries can easily identify with.

Surprisingly, majority of those who lost during the nominations are strong allies of political party leaders. They were defeated by those considered to be newbies in the political field.

As the political dust settles and the bigwigs who lost in the primaries come to terms with the reality of losing, already a section of the losers have claimed the exercise was not free and fair. They have vowed to vie as independents in the upcoming general election.

But even as they plan to battle it out to retain their seats, they need to accept the reality that Kenyans have come of age and can make decisions without coercion based on performance and track records of those considered political gurus.

Bomet has become a good example. Seventeen members of Bomet County Assembly were shown the door in the just-concluded primaries. Voters in that county were reportedly angered by the MCAs decision to voted in favour of the Building Bridges Initiative Bill which later collapsed.

Politicians must accept that the matrix has changed and that for one to be considered fit by Wanjiku, they must not only be in touch with 'the ground' but must deliver on their campaign promises. Simply put, handouts have ceased to sway voters --it's tangible results that works.

For those who think they have escaped the wrath of Kenyans through primaries after being handed direct tickets and have not delivered on the promises they made to Kenyans five years ago, should not rest easy because the voters are waiting for them on August 9, 2022.

Fellow Kenyans, these primaries will be the determinant of whether we want development in the country or political sycophants who have a lot to say but nothing to show.

It is time politicians learnt through these primaries that closeness to big political brothers, coalitions and tribe will not win them seats.

Political party leaders now have the headache of deciding whom they will nominate to Parliament after the general election. But whatever the case, they must nominate performers, not political losers.

The habit of ‘rewarding’ friends who failed miserably in the primaries but still find their way to Parliament should stop.

Kenyans want affordable education, better healthcare and clean water and their dreams can only come true if those who end up in Parliament become servant leaders.

We must realise that only over 1,000 people will be elected to represent us in various capacities. They will shoulder the expectations of over 48 million Kenyans. The outcome of the elections should be worthwhile.

Let’s not leave the political class to decide for us who will lead us for the next five years. While a section of Kenyans may seem satisfied with the performance of their current legislators, there are those who are disappointed with their leaders.

As the August elections draw near, it’s high time registered voters started having a conversation on the proper management of this country for the next five years. If we want leaders who will deliver, then we must go out and elect them on August 9.

For the thousands of Kenyans who did not take part in the party primaries, you have a chance to elect the leaders you would want to see. Don’t be swayed by the political call of a 'six-piece' pattern of voting at the expense of development. In any case, we have seen how 'six-piece' has led Kenyans into voting in leaders who could not deliver on their campaign pledges for the sake of party popularity.

If we want development and accountability, then we must all participate in our civic duty of voting. Year in, year out, a section of Kenyans complain about the ills bedeviling our country, yet fail to cast their ballot. This must come to an end.

To the naysayers - those who do not intend to vote and want to convince others not to participate in the elections maybe because they don’t trust the electoral agency or because their favourite candidates were voted out during the primaries - keep your frustration to yourself. Let those who want to vote do so in peace.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and the same applies to development. If we want to see change, then we must always take part in elections until we get the right people in leadership.

In the words of former US President Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."