Thursday, February 28, 2013

Though I’m quite ordinary, I won’t pamper bickering politicians forever

 

By MUTUMA MATHIU

It is people like me that politicians have to fear.

Not because I am rich, powerful or clever, but since I am ordinary, I am in the majority.

I am capable of acting ideologically, of making sacrifices and of being implacably committed and determined.

I am just like those who fought in the Mau Mau war or rioted in the streets to force multipartyism.

It is inadvisable for politicians to push us, the ordinary Kenyans, further into a corner.

Every day is not a Friday, as they say in Kiswahili.

In 2007, through the rigging of elections or malevolent incitement depending on the school of thought you subscribe to, this country was nearly burnt to the ground.

For five years, we have been an international embarrassment and spectacle.

Our businesses came under great pressure and we have held the economy together by sheer grit.

We have still managed to pay the taxes, part of which the political class has wasted by paying themselves irrational salaries.

Do you really think life can be just a party where you blow fortunes of other people’s hard-earned cash and do what you want without consequences – for ever?

Does anyone think they can cause violence a second time in this country?

Do you think you can cost Kenyans what they have and then you keep yours and live happily ever after?

With the election two days away, Kenyans have nothing to be afraid of.

They should not allow politicians and the air heads who hang around them take the country hostage.

We are more than the politicians and their goons, we are smarter, and because we work, we are healthier and stronger.

And because we sign the cheque, why can’t we dictate the terms?

I am told the flights to Entebbe are full, that hotels in neighbouring countries are overflowing with well-heeled Kenyans and foreigners who are “visiting friends” during the elections.

For us ordinary people, it is business as usual. We’ll open our kiosks, stalls and other places of business after voting or go to a social place and keep the country working.

But we can’t be wasting our hard work and talent because politicians are addicted to violence, free money and their souls thirsty for power.

If you look at the record of the average Kenyan politician, he is not good at winning elections, but he never loses. He’s always rigged out.

Our mistake as Kenyans is to have allowed these people to get away with it for so long.

When they lose in the party nominations, they shout that they have been rigged out and move on to the next party, and we don’t punish them for it.
A Kenyan politician rarely goes to the election with the same party.

To them, a political party is not an instrument of giving structure and discipline to shared thought and ideals.

It is a vehicle for getting elected into office and making massive loads of money.

If you cannot commit allegiance to a set of simple ideas, how can you commit allegiance to the biggest and most complex idea of them all, the nation?

If everything is about you, how can you make the sacrifices needed to successfully lead?

The truth is you can’t. Where does that leave us?

I am sure our leaders are capable of doing great things.

They are capable of great wisdom and restraint.

This is the time for those qualities to shine.

We will vote for you and we will not even make noise about the big salaries you will be earning or the money some of you have stolen.

We don’t even ask that you work for us, we have good, solid civil servants for that. All we ask is this: don’t turn our country into Kabul.

If you lose, then you must be like the hyena. You run with what you have eaten and live to contest another day.

If you win, don’t turn our country into Zambia where every president comes into office with a vindictive agenda to haunt those who came before him.

Leave your defeated opponents alone.

No one is interested in a Kenyan politician’s sense of justice; impunity is more their thing.

mmathiu@ke.nationmedia.com.

advertisement