By Mr. Malino Lesiamito, Candidate for Samburu East Parliamentary seat - ( December 2012 or March 2013 general elections)
Historically, many Kenyans are only used to the december polls. The month of december is when many Kenyans traditionally take long holidays to join their families back at their respective counties. Though the month of december is quite often characterised by heavy rains and wetty conditions in many parts of country, this month has turned out to be a “sacred month” for the Kenyan communities.
During this “sacred month”, schools are closed for holidays and makes it possible for families to reunite and celebrate christmass together-for those who are christians; in preparation to usher in a new year. On the other hand, it’s one of the “greenest months”, and thus the best time of the year when crop farmers and pastoral communities alike can afford a genuine smile at their own backyards. In this special time of the year, many crop farmers and pastoral communities are virtually happy due to the abundance availability of rain water and fresh green grass for the crops and livestock respectively. No wonder this is a very “addictive month” for many mindsets in Kenya!
Well, there are many “sexy” arguments that can be plainly put forth about the month of december. It’s increasingly becoming an obvious worry that this month is sacred, addictive and the greenest month for Kenyans. From the look of the things, there is no doubt about it being a “psychological, political and traditional month” for Kenyans to get together for traditional festivals. Despite the unique december month being a “traditionally-political Kenyan month”, should “we” necessarily be so soaked into this month in every breath? In my view, this “soakedness” is a dangerous trait and it’s something to worry for. Therefore, it leaves a lot to be desired on whether Kenyans are really ready for CHANGE.
When it comes to general elections under the old constitution, december is always been the most convenient month due to the some of the above mentioned arguments. The Kenya of today under the new constitution dispensation is different, and it doesn’t borrow the traditional december scenario but the august one. The month of august is been argued as being practically impossible for this first general election under the new constitution. The applicability of month of august would probably be in the next general election of 2018.
Knowingly that the month of august was practically impossible, Kenyans started guessing that december would obviously be the one to go for. Many mindsets ran into more confusions when the constitutional court chiped in and ruled out that the next general election would be held in march 2013 only if the coalition government remains undissolved. Worse still, for a few days ago, IEBC which is the electoral body of Kenya announced that the elections will be on 04 march 2013.
This announcement was again received with so much “political heat” by a section of the Kenya coalition government. More anxiety seems to be growing day by day as Kenyans are approaching an electioneering period!
However, Keeping the country in unnecessary uncertainty and suspense was not justifiable regarding the elections date. Therefore in my own understanding, IEBC did the right thing by offering an option rather than holding Kenyans political hostages of the two coalition partners.
The yet to be overturned constitutional court ruling gave two options one of which is not tenable because the written agreement to operationalize it was not forthcoming from principals engaged in a tussle over the date. IEBC’s decision which -happily is appealable- was thus inevitable and necessary considering that anxious citizens cannot wait for ever.
For example, one cannot dictate to a chef on how to quickly prepare a meal. If the chef advises on a certain time frame, grant it. Likewise the IEBC, as mandated in law, has picked the 4th of March to conduct the biggest general election ever since independence. As Kenyans we should grant them this date as conceived in their collective wisdom, or be prepared for the consequences of an earlier date.
IEBC as an institution has made a very significant decision whose impact is enormous. At the end of the tunnel, it looks like it will be respected in the long run despite the current squabbles. As a Kenyan, do you really think that many politicians who are against the IEBC ruling are honest, or they could just be fueling unncessary tensions? I bet they may not but are just playing politics in hoodwinking political mindsets.
I’m of the view that, the 4th of March 2013 is the best way to go. Right now, there are many issues that have not been fully implemented as far as the new constitution is concern. Kenya is bigger than our individual interests. Therefore, a fair and credible elections is what kenyans yearn for. This will only be possible if IEBC gets adequate time for preparation rather than hurrying this historical and important process in the reconstruction of our beloved country after the chaos of 2007/2008.
The more messy the IEBC will politically be compelled to be, the more worse the next elections will be. Those who are against the IEBC ruling could just be having ulterior motives to go rigging as the case was the 2007 elections. I mean, why advocate for an indepedent judiciary and an indepedent electoral body, yet not respect these institutions? Many of “those” who are in the forefront for a reformist governance and a law abiding society are slowly turning out to be clear dictators and promoting the culture of impunity. Strong instutions in replacement for strong men is what kenyans have been fighting for decades. Why therefore go public by calling names to these institutions? Should Kenyans trust this kind of leaders who are there to divide rather than unite? More so, the civil servants who wish to resign and join politics can therefore now soon do so. Kenya can’t afford another turmoil but to move together without allowing the hidden arm of the imperialist nation to scatter a kenyan vision for peace!
YES, elections in march 2013 is untraditional, but as a nation, we should likewise be ready enough to embrace and accept the need for CHANGE. CHANGE in the old ways of doing things is necessary and Kenyans shouldn’t unnecessarily be skeptical, cynical and afraid of new ways to look at things politically. If Kenyans embrace CHANGE, then this is a good start in challenging the status quo and putting the necessary and competent machinery that will deliver vision to the people of Kenya come 2013 elections. In this fragile period, unity is an important element for us to heal from the past elections trauma and to likewise prepare adequately on what we want as a nation. I know march 2013 could inconvenience schools but schools can as well go early on holidays instead of April as usual. There are alot of things that can temporary be changed to ensure that all get to cast their votes.
Tribal gatherings based on clanism may not yield much as it depicts an element of division. This is unhealthy and should not be entertained politically. Political leaders who primitively base their politics in clan groupings is a letdown. Leaders who unite all the communities is a trait of servant leadership. The recent Lkisin Clan declaration gathering at Wamba at Samburu East (SE) where 200 goats were slaughetered is one such grouping that kenyans should strongly condemn. If the 200 goats were slaughetered, was there vision discussed? As Kenyans, we should deceit from the culture of being bought by politicians. Why is it that our politicians have not CHANGED from the culture of dishing out money instead of dishing out vision? Fellow Kenyans, ‘KULA KWA FULANI, KURA KWA FULANI’ “VISIONARY, INTEGRITY & SERVANT LEADERSHIP” come the 4th of March 2013 elections. That’s my democractic say, what is your democratic say?End