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Forget sideshows, real issues should be the basis of politics in the New Year

By Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda | January 5th 2016

Politics will be a dominant feature in Kenyans’ life in 2016. With 2017 elections just nearer, anybody who understands the character of Kenya’s politics would not expect less. The coalitions will also be taking shape and many will be positioning themselves to the apex of power and resources especially at the national level.

The future of counties will increasingly become important. Forget the noise and sideshows of reducing counties – that won’t happen. If you understand the dynamics of Kenyan politics and the rough history of this country you would know daring mess up or even say rationally think of reducing counties, how futile an exercise it would be.

The future lies in devolution. Every community wants resources closer. After all people have seen and felt what can be achieved with devolved units if they were properly manned.

Now so many politicians and aspiring ones are keenly focused on 2017. From research and body language President Uhuru Kenyatta is determined to get re-elected.

With state resources and having tasted a formula to victory there is indications he will stick to the formation that helped him win in 2013. This will involve endearing himself to regions that voted against him.

For Raila Odinga it looks he wants to make what could be the final stab to the presidency.

Either way whoever closely coalesces around the two political formations (Jubilee and CORD) will have the 2022 succession at the radar.

The two formations are formidable and if stuck together will determine post 2017 politics.

CORD must have learnt their mistakes in the 2013 elections by now which include poor voter registration and turnout in their strongholds. So expect a lot of fireworks in 2016 as the two opposing sides try to increase penetration and expansion of their voter baskets.

Economically, it will be a tough year for Kenya if the dynamics affecting the Kenyan economy is anything to go by. We have mountains of issues to handle. Among them is the global economy influence on the interest rates and investment inflows, the weak export basket, piling debts, regional problems, insecurity issues, huge trade balance which are adverse to Kenya, massive unemployment in the Kenyan economy and so on. In a nutshell there is a lot to make sweat at the policy and decision making levels to ensure the much needed re-invention of the Kenyan economy. The country has huge opportunities if managed or exploited will take the country and her people to a greater economic pedestal. Obviously the monstrosities of corruption and tribalism that make and keep us backward will need to be fought with a greater zeal.

In the social scene and sports I expect so much to happen. After enjoying nice Bongo and Nigerian music and Nija movies, I expect Kenyans to up their game in 2016.

I would love to see some more Lupita’s gracing our screens. Nonetheless, 2015 closed well with Kenya doing well in Athletics globally and with the IAAF Athletics Championship in the bag. Seriously something must be done about our Soccer. It makes me sick when I think about Kenya Football Federation. I think it’s high time to radically deal with the management of this beautiful game in Kenya. There is too much talent getting wasted in this nation. No! This must stop!

Dear Kenyans, I know there is plenty to speak about this great nation and we have had enough to depress us. But I believe we can create change and dream big.

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