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Why MPs should live among constituents
By George Ajigo | Updated Jan 20, 2020 at 09:09 EAT
why-mps-should-live-among-constituents
Blocked Kasarani - Mwiki road, (Courtesy)
SUMMARY

But since she did not, it can only be concluded that the people’s plight did not concern her.

Had she even bothered to engage concerned persons or followed up to see if a budget had been allocated for the road’s repair?

Perhaps the reason the honourable Member of Parliament for Kasarani Constituency was conspicuous by her absence from her area throughout almost four days of protests over the poor state of Kasarani - Mwiki road is because she does not reside anywhere near there.

If she did and frequently used the road, she might have empathised and come out sooner to, at least assure her constituents that she too, was perturbed by the road’s condition.

Even if only for public relations purposes, she would have explained whatever frustrations she may have encountered, assuming she has, in getting the relevant government agency to act on it.

But since she did not, it can only be concluded that the people’s plight did not concern her. Had she even bothered to engage concerned persons or followed up to see if a budget had been allocated for the road’s repair? And if there was none, had she even lobbied for allocation?

On being forced to come out, it was disingenuous of her to see the hands of faceless enemies only she is able to see and who she claims are out to discredit her, behind the protests.

It was most unfortunate that it had to take the life of an innocent and productive young man with a lot of promise and his entire life ahead of him, not to mention injuries to several members of the public for elected leaders to take notice.

PATRIOTIC TAX

Does it mean that for people to be heard, they must now take to the streets? Can the government possibly get more insensitive! How is that for motivation to pay so-called ‘Patriotic tax’! If only Wananchi could withhold taxes and ‘government’ had to demonstrate to be heard!

But if this saga reminds us of anything, it is that we are fools to believe the promises politicians make when they seek our votes.

This was not the first time members of the public have protested, and public service vehicle operators have withdrawn their vehicles over the poor state of the same road.

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No doubt, the honorable member of parliament must have promised during campaigns to have the road done, but here we are approaching another election when it was bound to be a promise all over again.

Impatient, the people of Kasarani could not wait to hear the promise repeated and expressed their feelings, only too strongly. To their shame, police acted as if they live on Mars while it is the only raia who are mere earthlings?

To our disadvantage as Wananchi, our elected leaders do not reside amongst us. Some may have lived next-door to the rest of us before they first sought high office. However, once they get elected, and their fortunes change, they move to better-serviced neighbourhoods.

ENSCONCED

Ensconced in comfortable lives afforded by perks of high office, they only come back to visit, but when they do, they ride 4 X 4s and don’t feel the potholes very much! They will generally stay away until the next campaigns when they come back to repeat the promises they made the last time.

Perhaps, it needs to be a requirement that a member of parliament must live amongst his/her constituents. Yes, they have constituency offices, but how many times are they ever at those offices?

If they lived amongst constituents, experienced more or less the same services day in day out, had the poor state of infrastructure stare them in the face every day, would they require to be roused into action by protests?

The MP for Kasarani, Hon. Gakuya has Senator Sakaja to thank for stepping up to the plate to help seek immediate redress. Otherwise, the protests might have continued.

At a time when the office of the Controller of Budget (COB) informs us that half the counties spent nothing on development over the last three months, will the various representatives – MCAs, MPs, Governors have anyone; much less King Kaka, to blame if Wananchi in their respective wards, constituencies and counties took the cue from Kasarani residents and similarly took to the streets to demand services?

It takes only a spark to start a fire.

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