Lessons galore from party nominations

Friday April 28 2017

Kandara MP Alice Wahome celebrates IN Jubilee Party nominations.

Kandara MP Alice Wahome (center) celebrates with her supporters at Ng'araria Girls polling station on April 27, 2017 after she was declared the winner in the parliamentary Jubilee Party nominations. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

Kenyans are hooked on democracy. It may be a tainted, corrupted and putrid form but they are addicted and they can’t get enough.

How else can one explain the massive turnout for primaries postponed three times and whose results have to be endorsed by the party owners before announcement?

The party nominations have been characterised by chaos, inefficiency but mostly corruption.


The other day, Macharia Gaitho asked: If the two main parties cannot carry out fair, professional and honest primaries how in God’s name can they run the country?

I would suggest that the primaries are indeed an accurate reflection on how Jubilee currently runs the country and Nasa aspires to manage it.

Reflect deeply on the past week’s events and you will conclude that no matter the outcome on August 8 no significant or radical change will take place in the manner in which the country is governed.


Yet there are many lessons emerging from the primaries and all should heed them.

Lesson number one is that parties have owners and owners have favoured candidates in almost every one of the six seats available for election.

You may imagine that your vote matters but ultimately most nominations are determined by the amount the aspirant brings to the owners table.

Secondly, the country has never experienced such vast amounts being spent on primaries.

On the positive side, the campaigns are likely to boost the economy as billions stashed away in reserve have been released and revived the advertising, transport and beer industries.

On the negative side, the IEBC or KRA have not given any explanation as to the origins of such resources.

So, whether aspirants win or lose, they will try any means to recoup the billions they spent on helicopters, projects, handouts and campaign materials.

So the third depressing lesson is that corruption in high office will increase tenfold as debts, loans and promises have to be repaid.

Some failed aspirants are already probably registering fake companies so that they acquire tenders from the newly elected centres of government after August.  

A fourth lesson is that voters take greater delight in voting out an unpopular candidate than even electing a person of integrity.

Most votes are protest ones and so Jubilee should take note.

However, even amidst the morass and shame, there are still signs of hope and progress.

The manner with which Governors Cleophas Langat of Nandi and Benjamin Cheboi of Baringo accepted their defeat was gracious, humbling and uplifting.

They will always retain the respect of their communities due to the way in which they exited public office.

A sixth and final lesson is that citizens still believe in their ability and power to choose their own destiny.


They may be harassed, cheated, betrayed and abused but they still know the power they have.

They may not get the leaders or the service that they deserve but they will not give up in their pursuits or demands.

There may be a huge disconnect between the political class and Wanjiku, but if that gap is not addressed wananchi will not take it lying down.

Their right to vote, protest and demand accountability is still intact.

[email protected] @GabrielDolan1