EXPLOITATION

OMWENGA: Stop lying to youth, gullible voters in 2022 campaigns

The youth are exploited mostly because they know no better

In Summary

• A gullible voter can be described as one who follows no known principle or strategy in voting other than based on who they have been told or bribed to vote for, clan or tribe.

• This group is vulnerable to exploitation by politicians no different from their parents and older folk in the gullible voter category.

Hundreds of youth attend a political rally in Nairobi
POLITICS: Hundreds of youth attend a political rally in Nairobi
Image: FILE

There are two groups of voters politicians show great love, affection and care during election time but forget them soon thereafter: These are the youth and gullible voters.

The youth are described in the Constitution as anyone who has attained the age of 18 years but has not attained 35 years.

A gullible voter can be described as one who follows no known principle or strategy in voting other than based on who they have been told or bribed to vote for, the clan or tribe. That does not exclude the youth. Indeed, when you hear a politician talking about the youth, what they mean those in the defined age group who either have no education beyond primary school or has but has never been employed regardless of their qualification.

This group is vulnerable to exploitation by politicians no different from their parents and older folk in the gullible voter category.

So much so that that politicians have come to master in exploiting those tendencies much to the continued suffering of a nation.

That they can count on these two vulnerable groups to vote for them is a given, according to their warped logic.

The gullible voter manifesting the backward considerations is simply a victim of history and upbringing.

Like racism, for example, if one is raised in a household where there is hatred of another or other tribes for no reason, then chances are they will follow suit in being tribal.

The youth, on their part, are exploited mostly because they know no better and successive governments have failed to provide any meaningful opportunities.

As a result, a politician who promises them heaven suddenly becomes attractive to them as finally the savior from their misery, oblivious of the fact this is an illusion.

Typically, you have a politician exploiting one group of these two groups, and another exploiting the other.

At least that is how it has been. Not anymore.

A clever politician has figured out if both groups are susceptible to ploys and shenanigans to hoodwink them into believing in an illusion, why not exploit both?

The strategy has seemingly worked because if you peruse comments on social media and even street talk among these groups, a certain politician has convinced a large segment of them that he and only he is the answer to their misery.

Which raises the question: Where has he been all this time to suddenly appear as the white knight? What stopped him in all these years to do even a tiny fraction of what he now promises to do?

It does not mean if a politician has consistently and demonstrably failed to deliver for the youth — or any other group for that matter — cannot have an awakening and promise to do things he now promises and does them.

That is suddenly possible theoretically speaking. However, the reality informed by history and experience points to a different, opposite direction.

On the other hand, the same history and experience points to another presidential aspirant having demonstrated he has what it takes to put in place a transitional government that would put the foundation upon which his and future governments can finally deliver for the youth and all Kenyans.

It is for another day to go over the record and back that up but for now, suffice to say, it is better the youth look to him, than one who is more like the passing cloud until the next election when the cloud reappears with even more fancy ploys and shenanigans.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator