Monday, 15 October 2012


TOUGH TIMES FOR KENYANS ARE HERE AGAIN: ELECTIONEERING SEOSON AND ITS CRUEL ARCHITECTS It is election season once again. A season that Kenyans always embrace with mixed feelings: a time to scramble for cash and gifts from a handful of the greatest thieves of Kenya and the would-be ‘great thieves indeed’. A time much despised and feared by ‘explorers’ who have been accidentally milking a cow they have never herd since independence; a period of imminent disaster and an ever vague tomorrow! Politicians have always known the issues that deeply concern us (including those that divides us), and will be harping on them to touch our hearts, coat our innocence with tribal goggles and woe our votes by hook or crook. Theirs will ever remain “A life time conspiracy to steal, maim, murder, live large and steal again and again!”As such, armed with our stolen money, they are more than ready to play a cruel game we’ve never mastered its unscrupulous rules! One of the long running and perennial concerns of Kenyans is the runaway corruption in our public processes. In 2002 as well as in 2007, corruption had been a key campaign issue. Already it is an issue on the lips of many politicians indicating that the coming general elections will be no different. But considering the lessons of the last 10 years, should we take mere promises and the mere mumbo jumbo to do away with corruption and other massive theft of public coffers for good? What must we do to avoid being taken for a ride by corn artists who are either deeply rooted in grand corruption or are the greatest and loudest defenders of those suspected of looting public coffers? Considering the undisputed fact that our legal system has been unwilling or incapable of delivering justice in matters of corruption for years on end, we cannot just look at convictions or lack of it, as the basis for determining people’s fitness to hold office. In other words an acquittal is not, especially in our circumstances, conclusive proof of innocence. Failure to be prosecuted should also not be the standard for determining who, from an ethical perspective, qualifies to be our leader. As Kenyans who are tired to the bone with hypocritical leadership, we need to turn a leaf in the way we elect our leaders. It is time we take an about-turn and say enough is enough. Indeed, it is time we stand united and shun every tribal hook, every single nepotism shred and set the record straight once and for all. We must examine records of every would-be political master keenly to understand what they will likely become if we give them the mandate to guard our hard-earned wealth. We must base our decisions on people’s record in shunning and fighting corruption. Mere rhetoric is not enough. An eloquent character won’t deliver us from this bondage of slavery unless his or her past is scrutinized, questioned, judged rationally and determined by a fair and just mind. Candidates should articulate what they have done and plan to do to fight corruption. We need to subject this rhetoric to their past record and assess whether it is worth believing or not. ©2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora