It is imperative politicians to bear in mind that the electorate expectation in the forthcoming 2022 elections is not leaders who can insult, scandalise and rubbish opponent the most but those whose ought to service delivery to the citizens of Kenya.
The citizenry has been yearning for leaders who can help Kenyans live in peace and guarantee the future of their children. And to realise these, Kenyan must learn to vote wisely and only vote for those candidates known for their honesty and concern for electorate welfare.
Kenyans are seeking genuine democracy where leaders are servants of the electorate and not wolves. It is difficult to see how malice, slander and calumny on one’s political opponent being seen in functions, TV and FM stations can help one triumph when polls come.
Politics should be honest and responsible. It should be an effective way of serving and working for the integral development of one’s country. But it is sad when daily politics is marred with propaganda, slander and malice.
We just finished polls two years ago, but politicians and leaders have already upped the ante against each other with 2022 polls being the agenda. Each one of them wants Kenyans to think that she/he is visionary. It is a positive sign that they think that Kenyans think off and want is a “visionary” leader. However, voters have serious questions about the vision of these candidates.
And when one peels the layers of deceit and expose the trickster in them, you quickly realise that the only vision they have is that of winning/retaining tenancy in State House, senate or parliament.
Needless to say, a vision that ends in a building is not worthy, let alone one for the country.
This country is so fractured that we need to think of politics not just as the organisation of hatred, but as a vehicle for national reconstruction and service delivery. Respect for the dignity of one’s political opponents requires that politics are conducted with honesty and dignity and not with lies and malice.
Polls should never be a matter of character assassination, fraud or coercion since that would break the sacred character of democracy. The 2022 politics should be anchored on issues to enable our people make correct political choices from a point of information where the voter review the past in order to prepare for better political choices for the future.
The electorate cannot do well if fed on politicians’ lies, slander, malice and calumny about each other. Therefore, issue-based politics are necessary in a democratic process. Good elections require intelligent and responsible participation of all.
And to perform this task well, voters need to get themselves informed of the manifestoes from the various political parties which have programme of action that the parties propose to follow in order to serve the good of citizenry. A sound manifesto should articulate achievable goals that will enhance the development of this country in general.
Leaders must invoke alchemy of great vision. And this vision should be reflected in their manifesto and utterances. The best vision is insight. A leader is said to be one who “knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”. But with insults and slander of political opponents is only a sign that one does not know the way society wants to go and such leader can’t lead anyone farther than he has gone.
If the furthest you have gone in articulating a vision is calumny, there is no way you can lead others in a better direction. Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change.
They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there. But lies, slander and malice are not the way to get there.
In an election that is based on issues, those who offer themselves for re-election will be evaluated against the record of what they have realised or not. They fulfilled their promises and the quality of their judgment on many challenges facing the country.
Or if the candidates were just driven by the “full belly theory”, the philosophy that has dominated 21st century politics. That is why in Kenya, general elections are about more than choosing our “tribal chieftains”.
In an issue-based politics, candidates will try to focus much on matters of concern for social justice, the common good instead of self-enrichment. And those who have not yet held office will be carefully evaluated in terms of their competence and their reputation for honesty and selfless dedication to the common good.
Clearly, politics must be peaceful and honest while aspirants and their supporters must be guided by the Chapter Six of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity which are anchored on God’s Commandments.
Good leadership will be achieved not by the formality of structures, but by the integrity of our politicians and their willingness to work together and be inspired by a larger vision.