By Harrison Ikunda
Lately, I have visited several places countrywide and witnessed the passion politics generate. This is normal since human beings are political animals by nature. Politics is an important human endeavour anywhere in the globe.
I have seen enough complaints that we Kenyans like politicking daily. This happens whether there is an election or not. Yet, a person needs to explore bits of our history deeply to see why we are obsessed with politics.
Our troublesome past has made the situation this way. Ruthless colonialism and the post-independence handling of politics accelerated the situation. Our practice of politics and governance has made people extremely keen on politics. Politics mean so much to the people of Kenya.
Being the season for hefty politics, what we are facing is nothing extraordinary. The only problem is that in Kenya, we make choices that we regret soon thereafter. Sly politicians have learnt the art of winning. When they do, the rest becomes irrelevant. That is why they are dashing out money and basic commodities countrywide hoping to win.
They understand the mind of the average voter. They manipulate the voters’ desires and emotions at that moment to get what they want.
Some analysts wonder why voters choose corrupt and crooked individuals only to complain later. The simple answer is that, at that moment, the excitement is critical for a voter. The top agenda for a politician at that time is to manipulate emotions and engineer propaganda. In a country like ours where a large population is poor, things like money, tribe, and clan mean a lot.
Politicking, elections and campaigns will pass
However, we should not forget that this season of campaigns and elections will pass. The reality of the daily struggles will kick in. The electorate will complain about what they deserve and which will not be forthcoming. Thus, we should ask for a leadership that is action oriented and which delivers on issues that better our lives.
Political excitement proves many times to be a source of disaster. It is during the period of extreme excitement that many people mess up their lives. That is when they loosen up their defenses and end up in the mess.
Nothing will stop the ongoing propaganda and the political manipulation. They are essential part of the political business. What is critical is for Kenyans to be wary of the choices they make. We already experienced some shambolic party nominations. Some aspirants would not have prevailed without party loyalty, which also prevails across the country. More so, even those who sail in fairly will not necessarily be performers.
The complexity of what informs the choices in politics is part of the challenge that makes politics difficult to comprehend. When the electorate chooses leaders that they complain about later, it reflects on what plagues the society. The complaints will never cease in the future unless issues become the key thing in decision-making.
Therefore, this is a reminder to the electorate to be aware that the hefty politicking will pass. Many issues that we shall continue to deal with exist. It is time to sober up because the future does not forgive mistakes ever.
(First published on Ureport. Edited for clarity)