- In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected, the notion of isolated governance, solely rooted in party politics, is outdated.
- Collaborative efforts between opposition and the government can lead to innovative solutions that draw on a diversity of perspectives and ideas.
On Monday, typical Kenya’s political bad manners happened, this time in the otherwise very calm Busia county. Some obviously hired goons pretended to terrorise attendants of a political gathering at the county’s headquarters in Busia town.
Reports indicate that police were forced to fire live bullets to disperse protesting youth at the rally attended by ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The drama, we hear, began when machete-wielding youth surged towards the main podium where the opposition chief and other ODM leaders were seated. Raila’s security team, we are told, was forced to build a human shield to block the youth from accessing him. The thousands of residents attending the rally were forced to flee as gunshots were fired.
But it all looked organised, just like most of the 'protests' that happen in the county, because reports indicate that earlier in the day, Busia town was dotted with youth wielding machetes as the Azimio leader and his entourage attended an ODM delegates meeting in Malaba town in Teso North before he addressed a rally in the town.
Those on the ground say the rowdy youth wanted to show Baba that Governor Paul Otuoma, who was also present at the rally convened to mobilise the county’s residents to register as members of the Orange party, was not loyal to him and the opposition Azimio coalition.
I cannot verify these claims but Otuoma, like many other opposition-allied politicians, has indicated time and again, that he is willing to work with the government for the sake of development.
The ODM-elected first-term governor, however, has never denounced his allegiance to the party or its leader. Either way, there’s completely no justification for anyone to organise or participate in violence just because a leader has chosen to collaborate with a competing political party, least of all a sitting government.
Otuoma has every right to work with any entity he wishes as long as that entity helps him deliver services to Busia residents.
In the tumultuous world of politics, the lines between opposition and government are often drawn with bold strokes, creating an adversarial atmosphere that hinders progress. Events, such as the heckling and booing of the the county boss, underscore the challenges faced by leaders who dare to defy these boundaries and collaborate across party lines. However, it is crucial to recognise that working together for the common good is not only a commendable approach but also an essential one for the development of any society.
Otuoma's experience serves as a poignant example of the resistance that can be encountered when opposition figures choose to collaborate with the government on matters of development. The incident raises questions about the prevailing political culture and the importance of fostering an environment where leaders can prioritise the needs of their constituents over partisan interests.
One of the fundamental tenets of democracy is the idea of representation – that elected officials are entrusted with the responsibility of serving the interests of all citizens, regardless of political affiliation. In the context of governance, collaboration between opposition governors and the government becomes a strategic imperative to ensure that development is not stymied by political gridlock. While political ideologies may differ, the pursuit of a better quality of life for citizens should be a shared goal.
It is essential to acknowledge that the challenges facing a region, whether economic, social, or infrastructural, cannot be effectively addressed without the cooperation of leaders across party lines.
In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected, the notion of isolated governance, solely rooted in party politics, is outdated. Collaborative efforts between opposition and the government can lead to innovative solutions that draw on a diversity of perspectives and ideas.
Moreover, collaboration fosters accountability. When opposition leaders actively engage with the government on development projects, they become integral parts of the decision-making process. This involvement not only ensures that the needs of their constituents are considered, but also holds the government accountable for its actions. It transforms governance into a collective responsibility, where both ruling and opposition parties share the burden of delivering on their promises.
The heckling of the governor highlights the challenges of breaking away from entrenched political norms.
Otuoma, and other opposition governors, should be commended for their courage in navigating the complex terrain of politics to prioritise development over divisive rhetoric. Their commitment to working with the government signifies a willingness to rise above party lines and focus on the tangible needs of the people they represent. In doing so, they set an example for a more cooperative political culture that places the interests of citizens at the forefront.
To build a nation that thrives on unity and progress, citizens must recognise the value of collaborative governance. The incident in Busia should serve as a wake-up call to reevaluate our political discourse and encourage a shift towards a more inclusive and constructive approach.
It is time to move beyond the divisive politics that undermine the potential for growth and development and embrace a model where opposition governors and the government collaborate in harmony for the benefit of all. Only then can we hope to see a future where the well-being of the people takes precedence over party affiliations, leading to a more prosperous and united nation.
ODM lovers, and haters, should look at Baba’s history of cooperation with his political competitors before throwing the next stone at those “working” with the government.
The writer is a political commentator