VOTER BRIBERY

Cheering suspects to the ballot

In Summary
  • The system is concerned with smothering your future
  • It pays lip service to mass prosperity because it feeds on mass gullibility
Mental slavery is the worst form of slavery. It gives you the illusion of freedom, makes you trust, love and defend your oppressor while making an enemy of those who are trying to free you or open your eyes
Miss Fiyah

Kenya is caught in a Robin Woodian paradox, 17 months before the general election. The irony should worry those who have a sense of civic responsibility.

Right-thinking citizens shudder when victims of plunder cheer corruption suspects. The dalliance with agents of impunity, from Nairobi to the counties, is not about the dearth of civic consciousness. It's a deliberate exploitation of mass poverty to perpetuate dependency.

You trap the vulnerable with handouts and lies. You market a hustlers' paradise that does not exist. You appeal to their emotions. You prime them for manipulation.

This is the big lie – a QAnon type of conspiracy. Former US President Donald Trump sold to the American Right and evangelicals such a lie. It's a psychological investment in idiocy – asserting the existence of a capricious power cabal, dynasties or deep state that controls social order.

You throw money, generously, into the conspiracy to distract and confuse, before selling entry tickets to utopia. Then you pose as the saviour of the world – the one to liberate the polity from the curse of social stratum.

Generosity that thrives on impunity is bribery. Political generosity exploits impoverished masses to win their votes. You have heard it said that so and so may be a thief, but he shares proceeds of corruption with his victims.

The victims will seek to protect their thief from the wrath of those who seek accountability. The wolf in sheepskin sheds crocodile tears to incite the vulnerable. He spites those who don't give as generously, and as often, as he does.

Quote-maker, Miss Fiyah, captures this transfer of aggression. "Mental slavery is the worst form of slavery. It gives you the illusion of freedom, makes you trust, love and defend your oppressor while making an enemy of those who are trying to free you or open your eyes!"

The cacophony ahead of the general election, due next year, illustrates the rise of impunity – and the dearth of principle in elective leadership. Integrity will be buried one more time.

Anthony Smith, a leadership coach, has come up with what he calls a 'system of stupidity'. The system of stupidity does not love anyone but the fool who wishes to abandon prosperity. This system is blind to race, creed, tribe, income or family names, or social standing.

One more time perpetrators and victims of ascendant corruption are building fraternities of plunder, oblivious to the dangers of the monster they are petting. The skunk always returns to haunt.

President Uhuru Kenyatta says Kenya losses Sh2 billion daily to corruption – enough to guarantee livelihoods and transform lives. The loss could be higher, from Nairobi down to the counties; from public offices, through the private sector, from faith-based organisations, down to community based charities.

Some CBOs are stepping stones for individual aggrandisement and indulgence. Consider this: There is a US-funded charity in Kenya with this kind of management: The husband of the programme manager is the treasurer. The programme manager is the secretary. The programme manager's father is the chairman. The programme manager's mother is the supplier of sanitary pads, or dignity kits in NGO speak. The puppeteer, who made this structure marketable to donors, is the programme manager's cousin.  

This would be ridiculous if it were fiction. Sadly, it is an established fact from an ongoing investigation that pits vision against avarice. The findings disclose offences against the law in Kenya, and federal crimes in the United States.

The familial arrangement creates room for collusion and conspiracies that fertilise corruption.

Corruption erodes the moral fabric of society; violates social and economic rights of the poor, and the vulnerable; undermines democracy; subverts the rule of law, which is the pillar of every civilised society; retards development; and denies society and particularly the poor the benefits of free and open competition.

Yet public sentiment is often ambiguous on corruption. Merriam-Webster defines stupidity as "given to unintelligent decisions or acts; acting in an unintelligent or careless manner".  A practical definition of stupidity is: Knowing what is wrong, seeing what is wrong, hearing what is wrong, feeling what is wrong, but continuing to defer to the perpetrators of these wrongs.

Anthony Smith, a leadership coach, has come up with what he calls a 'system of stupidity'. The system of stupidity does not love anyone but the fool who wishes to abandon prosperity. This system is blind to race, creed, tribe, income or family names, or social standing.

The system is concerned with smothering your future. The system pays lip service to mass prosperity because it feeds on mass gullibility. The connivance sustains our kind of  'democracy' and exploitation.

Be warned, the owners of these systems of deception are preparing voters for another season of mendacity.