Middle class should stand up and vote in good leadership
By JULIAN KAMAU | February 10th 2017
When lower and middle-class citizens mourn and cry about looting of the country perpetrated by those in leadership, you may be tempted to sympathise with them.
But who votes in these affluent, corrupt leaders?
When suspects are summoned to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for 'grilling', do we not see the placard-waving, whistle-blowing citizens escorting 'our' person?
The Constitution presents us with a golden opportunity to fine-tune the country’s leadership every five years, but what do we do?
We bury everything else under six thick layers of folly and re-elect the same pilferers and defilers of the economy. We get carried away by empty rhetoric and ethnic 'nationalism'.
More often than not, ethnic balkanization and sheer politicking take center stage, covering up the economic decline the country is facing.
The five-year intervals have become ceremonial exercises for the same players to re-brand and re-energise themselves to come back and continue with the routine plundering of the economy.
Elections time ushers in the politics of ethnicity, which takes a toll and makes it difficult to re-establish national consciousness. The net effect is that power is monopolized by some groups at the expense of others.
We vote in our kith and kin irrespective of their track records. Hence there is a missing “democratic quotient” in our system. All we have is democracy in the garb of tribalism and nepotism.
It is disturbing to note that people who just the other day were mentioned in mega corruption scandals are being cheered on by huge crowds as they traverse the landscape campaigning to be elected to various posts.
Maybe the more one steals, the higher one's chances of being elected. It is not uncommon to hear Kenyans complaining that “so-and-so was in a big position yet he never stole anything"!
My guess is that in August, honest and sincere politicians may be voted out in favour of pilferers and pick-pockets.
We are likely to witness further economic decline and abuse of our cultural links at the hands of selfish politicians if the trend does not change.
But all is not lost. There is a glow at the end of the tunnel.
Should our consciousness be jolted by the reality of 'one nation, one people', then the coming elections should mark a new era devoid of confusion and cries of foul play by the losing side, and empty promises by the incoming about zero tolerance to corruption winners.
This should wash off the ‘confused society’ tag.
The demand by MPs for gratuity payment of Sh3.3 billion is a clear depiction of the man-eat-man nation Kenya has become.
At this point in time, when Kenya is in a total mess owing to the demands by doctors and lecturers for salary increments, the MPs' plan to pocket a minimum of Sh6 million each for the eight months they will be out of office is a total disgrace.
The Public Service Commission, National Treasury, Budget, and Appropriations committee and Salaries and Remuneration Commission, who met to discuss the MPs' demands, should have instead talked about more crucial issues such as the doctors' and lecturers' strike.
MPs who currently earn close to Sh1 million should never be paid more than the doctors whose critical role is to save Kenyan lives.
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