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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Propesa actor faces six months’ jail for election fraud

Two brothers were participating in the annual village race where their win would ensure they took home half a bull. The condition was that since they are brothers, one of them must win the race for them to get the bull.

This was not their first race. They had previously won the races with the younger one always winning in a photo finish. This time though, the younger brother lost and the elder finished first. They still got their prize.

But the younger brother was not happy. Instead of helping his brother carry the meat as they always had, he sulked. Since the meat was too heavy, the elder brother cut it into two.

The two bothers got home with half the prize because the younger brother had decided not to work with his sibling. He forgot that all those times he had won, his brother had helped him to carry the meat home and they got the entire prize home.

Now that we are done with the election, it is time for us to look forward and chart the path that we want to take as a country. The political competition is over and we must now find in ourselves the strength to accept the outcome and support the government as a nation.

The last couple of months have pitted us against each other as we took political positions, but this is now water under the bridge. We have winners and losers and we must decide whether we want to stay divided along those competitive lines or work together to build the country.

The losers must accept that they had a good run, but they will live to fight in another election. They must use this opportunity to review their strategies and embrace the will of the people and join hands with the winners.

The winners must gracefully accept that the people of Kenya have put their faith in them to transform the country, whether at the national level or the counties. You have been granted the mandate to work for the people of Kenya and must remain faithful to this call of duty.

For the rest of us, voters, it is time to come together and focus on the future. Even if our candidates did not make it, this is not the end of the world.

Whether our favourite politicians won or not, we can collectively allow ourselves to come together and support the winners as they are now our duly elected leaders. They have a duty to us, as Kenyans, and we also have the role of keeping them in check and ensuring they perform their duties diligently.

We have to keep all the 48 governments on their toes to deliver, not only on their promises, but also on their constitutional mandate. The work of elected leaders is to drive the aspirations of all Kenyans, whether they got their votes from them or not.

No county government can afford to drop the ball or try and undo what has already been done. They should focus on building on the foundations put in place. Kenyans will be looking to the county governments to meet their aspirations at the lowest level of governance.

Kenya is a great republic that has been on a transformative path, which we must all strive to continue on. Kenya is ahead of other developing nations because we have stuck together as a nation and must continue to do so.

We will not continue on this transformative journey unless we have unity of purpose and agree to work together.

The writer is a political and communications consultant. @MachelWaikenda

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