CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES

Spare God the blame for this

He did not impose any leader on the electorate.

In Summary
  • Sonko cynics believe there is a crisis, but he says there is no vacuum.
  • What there is, and voters should understand this, is a crisis of electoral decisions, and poor judgment of character.

On the day Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu was charged with corruption a woman, who sounded honest and helpless in the face of destiny, asked: “Sisi watu wa Kiambu tulifanyia Mungu makosa gani (How did we wrong God)?”

The cry has echoes in Nairobi, where ‘philanthropic’ and populist Governor Mike Sonko replaced the ‘mean’ and elitist Governor Evans Kidero in 2017.  Sonko is accused of corruption, but his supporters claim he eats with them. Kidero also has a corruption case in court. His critics say he had a penchant for ‘eating’ alone.

The Kiambu woman had surrendered her lot to the God of fate. This God wills leaders upon a people. This God ordains leaders on behalf of the masses. She was assigning God the duty of appointing good leaders.

 
 

In former Governor William Kabogo and Waititu, the woman was saying, God has not been kind to Kiambu. Another person of similar religious disposition could say the same for Nairobi, where the former governor and the incumbent are in court.

The Kiambu woman, though, is operating outside the divine mandate of God, but she still believes leaders are God-given. She is also insinuating this God is vindictive. This God is paying back for unidentified sins of the Kiambu electorate.

There is a context to the woman’s supplication: During the 2017 campaigns, Kiambu was bombarded with claims that Kabogo was a bad leader. People believed this, not because candidate Waititu was great, and probably Godsend. They wanted change—anyone else but not Kabogo. Two years later the angelic Waititu is in trouble with the electorate over alleged corruption.

The woman’s cry represents the views of many like her. This is the archetypal voter, and taxpayer. Politicians have contemptuously, figuratively and collectively called the type Wanjiku.

The metaphor captures their simplicity and innocence. This cadre suffers a deficiency of civic awareness and is illiterate on matters of democracy. Politicians love the Wanjikus because they are gullible.

Sonko and Kidero were not the only candidates. There were tested others such as Peter Kenneth, former Gatanga MP, who enjoyed good rating for prudent management of National Government Constituency Development Fund. But most voters preferred Sonko, the untested king of bling and drama.

The Wanjikus of the Agikuyu, the Akinyis of Luoland, the Nanjalas of Ingo, the Ndukus of the Kamba country, and the Chepkemois of the Rift are doormats for vultures of opportunity. They are ladders for wild and unexamined ambitions of leaders who buy their way into political office.

These voters are easy to manipulate every time there is an election. This cycle came for Nairobi during the August 8, 2017, General Election. The Jubilee dragon wanted to control Nairobi City County, the national economic hub.

Jubilee had to find ‘dawa’ for Governor Kidero. Sonko was the antidote. Kidero was supposed to be a bad leader. Not because Sonko was better, but he was a weapon against the then incumbent ODM governor.      

About 800,000 people voted for Sonko, the highest vote tally anyone running for this office got nationally. How did about 1 million get it so wrong about Sonko?

Last week Sonko was charged with 19 assorted criminal cases. He will be out of office while the cases run in the anti-corruption court.

Sonko and Kidero were not the only candidates. There were tested others such as Peter Kenneth, former Gatanga MP, who enjoyed good rating for prudent management of National Government Constituency Development Fund. But most voters preferred Sonko, the untested king of bling and drama.

The city county has been running under Sonko for 24 months without a deputy. Polycarp Igathe, who was supposed to be the technocratic face of the city county, resigned after five months in office. He could not work with Sonko—the people’s choice.

Sonko cynics believe there is a crisis, but Sonko says there is no vacuum. What there is, and voters should understand this, is a crisis of electoral decisions, and poor judgment of character.

About 800,000 voters created Sonko. God did not impose the choice on the electorate. Voters should, therefore, enjoy the consequences of their choices. Rapper King Kaka nailed it: ‘Wajinga Nyinyi.’

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