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September 24, 2018

Giving voters money is sure way of killing democracy

Royal media services journalist Victor Kinuthia recording a statement at Murang'a police station./FILE
Royal media services journalist Victor Kinuthia recording a statement at Murang'a police station./FILE

Despite Nakuru county government getting Sh45 billion from the Exchequer for five years, Sh6.6 billion for CDF, Sh330 million for youth, Sh330 million for women and another Sh15 billion from local taxes, development in the county has almost come to a complete standstill.

As a result of this five year stagnation of development at county level, the desire for change in many counties is very high. 

But as many desire change, citizens whose clarity of how problems can be solved are suicidal as a solution to their problems. 

Many people have concluded that since their MPs or Senators and governors have not solved their problems or come back to them after their election, voters should sell leadership for money, and leaders should buy leadership with money they give to voters as business they add to the list of their personal properties.

After selling leadership to politicians whom they send to county assemblies, parliament, senate, national government and county government, voters are too shy to seek services from their mercenary leaders.

Instead, they meekly accept whatever they are charged to get business tenders or for their children to get jobs in the police or the army.

Equally, when leaders give voters money to buy leadership, when they become MPs, MCAs, governors or senators, they use new offices, power, authority and influence to make the same money they spent with voters during campaigns.

Here we need to point out that voters are not aware what they lose when they sell leadership.

Somehow they think they can eat their cake and have it. When voters ask candidates to buy them beer, or to be given money for this or that, in return for votes at election time, they are selling leadership which will not serve them without demanding money too.

When leadership is sold and bought, it is never leadership to serve voters who sold it, but leadership to exploit and extract profit from them.

During campaigns you hear voters say coffee is ripe and it is their time to harvest. Of course the ripe coffee is the candidates who are literally forced to give out money or get no votes without giving a thought to consequences.

To make it worse, although there are many voters who will vote as their civic duty without demanding money, many others including churches that should offer moral leadership to voters, will organize Harambees to which as many candidates as possible will be invited to contribute money in return for votes. 

Unfortunately because no one asks how the money given was made, churches are turned into instruments of laundering money whose owners are assured if theirs is stolen money, it is cleansed henceforth by God and blessed are efforts to get more similar money.

During campaign time, many churches and political parties receive money even when they know it is not lean or legally made.

They accept the money even when they know it is stolen or made from selling drugs.

Yet stolen money that is not questioned or rejected is condoned and accepted as proceeds from corrupt businesses whose success is based upon exploitation of the very voters who asked for it.

Selling leadership is the source of our bad leaders and all corruption in the land.

When voters sell leadership to corrupt leaders, they are all praying for corruption to thrive.

Corruption of selling and buying votes is the primary source of bad political leadership that is birthed by and thrives upon corruption. Electoral corruption is the source of the corruption that we now see raving our institutions and entire country.

Having said it wants to eliminate corruption, the Jubilee government should help to eradicate electoral corruption as the genesis of all corruption through bad corrupt leadership. 

The Jubilee government must do whatever it can to end the corruption of giving money during elections because it is most primitive and only done in backward nations among which we should not be counted.

Voters who need salvation from poverty must also know that they cannot have electoral corruption and also good leaders they need for their salvation.

While money in elections might look like poor man’s savior, it is the curse that dooms him to eternal poverty.

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