By Minnie Kangethe

I keep looking around me hoping to find a leader or a politician who has the interest of the common citizen at heart and deliver on their promise.  Unfortunately, I have been disappointed a lot.  In the same breath, I realize that it is not all in the politician’s hands.  Citizens have to play a role in the building of their nation and affect, even change certain narratives.

We have taken a back seat approach in our country’s politics and have made it easy for politicians to manipulate us, instead of holding them accountable for every promise made during their campaigns.

Election year has always and continues to bring tension.  One has to constantly make sure that they are politically ‘correct’.

Personally, sharing my political opinion in some forums has been challenging.  As part of a particular tribe, I am expected to agree and align my thoughts and opinions with those of tribe’s, even if I do not agree!  They say it is solidarity, but it is truly sickening!  We should vote for the candidates whose manifesto, vision, values we resonate with, regardless of which tribe we or the politician belongs to.

Thinking in a tribal way has only led us to post-election violence, discrimination and distrust.  Currently, Kenya as a country is at a stand still.

It has now become a climate where before, during and after election we are told, from the same people who through media or personal online platform incite friction, to remain peaceful and not tribal.  The irony!

Although, there seem to be institutions that are put in place to preserve peace, they seem to be doing little to no work, citing lack of evidence, while enjoying hefty salaries.  I have always wondered why the media allows coverage of politicians who fuel violence with their words and actions. It has been said that there is always a price for democracy, but I think Kenya has paid a heavy price.  As a country, we are not growing politically.

Through all of the negative, there has been some positive.  The best part of Kenya’s 2017 election is the women, who have fought and gained political positions.  I am really proud of them.  Currently, we have 75 women elected in office.

I am hoping that in the next 5 years, we will have more women in politics and they will be able to promote their agenda rather than waiting for things to be given to them on a silver platter. I keep wondering what would have happened if Hillary Clinton had become President of the most powerful nation in the world.  Would that have given women a better platform?

Election time in most of countries in Africa, leaves the country in a standstill.  Is power that addictive that leaders choose war rather than peace?