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The independent candidates' nightmare
By Julius Karani,Kiambu | Updated Jun 19, 2017 at 11:22 EAT
Independent candidates in forum

While the Constitution provides for candidates to join the election as independents, our tribal politics makes it so hard for such politicians even if they have great ideas that can transform this country to get elected.

For a long time now, people have been elected to office, not because of their abilities to deliver, but based on their political parties. All parties in Kenya are dominant in certain regions.

For instance, Jubilee is most popular in Mt Kenya region and Rift Valley, where its leaders, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, come from. Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper controls Ukambani while ODM of Raila Odinga controls Nyanza. Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC has its stronghold in western. That is why all one needs is a ticket of a particular party to win an election. Where does this leave independent candidates?

The independents are a frustrated lot. Most of them know they cannot be elected in some areas unless they align themselves with the parties that control these areas, save for Nairobi, which is not in the grip of any party.

Many independent candidates are fighting to identify themselves with certain leaders or parties. Once you start propagating ideologies of a particular party, you are deemed to be a member of that party and you can no longer claim to be independent.

Independent candidates should learn from Miguna Miguna, who is seeking to be governor of Nairobi. He does not chase any political party or their leaders or promote them.

In fact, while other independents have openly supported Raila or Uhuru, Miguna has told Kenyans to pick the president of their choice. Miguna is busy promoting his manifesto and believes in his abilities to deliver the promises therein.

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