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Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Musings of a Young Kenyan Voter.

Thomas Hobbes is considered the father of English political liberalism. I had great difficulty accepting part of his narrative on the ‘natural condition of mankind’ while studying law. He presented the social-contract man’s life as being solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Because of these characteristics and man’s egoistical nature, he was a strong believer that there is a necessity to obey strong governments or else life as we know it would be a war of all on all….

I am a happy young voter who has voted in two general elections and in the referendum that so the promulgation of a new Kenyan Constitution in 2010.I am also a proud female and an even prouder kikuyu for that matter. I acknowledge the fact that prior to the last election, I was very naïve and oblivious to several issues that evidently influence Kenyan Politics as we know it...having been born, raised and educated in Nairobi, I must say that I never looked at my classmates, friends or neighbours and first saw them as a tribe. Actually come to think of it; my friendship with others has never been influenced by ethnicity or what region in Kenya they regard as home. I honestly consider that there is nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage or ethnicity and as Kenyans we must all celebrate our diversity and culture and promote it. It is the negative ethnicity that is especially fueled by politics that we must shun as a people.

I was not particularly impressed by the school of thought that refused to answer what ethnicity they came from during the last conducted censors. I think it is a shame that we have allowed ourselves to be reduced to this and that we are scared or ashamed to be identified with our uniqueness. As the Kenyan electorate, I sometimes marvel at how strangely we act and/or allow ourselves to be dictated yet we are the ones with the power that most of our power hungry political class often greed for.

With our own constitution which we have all taken ownership of, with an independent judiciary which we have faith in, and, with hopefully a more aware electorate who vote based on issues and for progressive realization of vision 2030 goals, the last election conducted on March 4 2013 made me and hopefully millions of other Kenyans rekindled their hope and faith in this great Nation. We must however take ownership of our governance regardless of whether or not our candidates won. We must hold them accountable and ensure they fulfill most, if not all, of the promises they made during the campaign periods and if they do not deliver come 2017 we have other choices to make based on facts, figures and definitely not on tribal lines or strongholds….

Do we face several challenges ahead of us? Definitely and mostly yes; but we did ourselves proud and seemed to have learned a hard and painful lesson from the post-election violence that nearly brought our beautiful nation on its knees. It is my sincere hope that we will constantly keep our leaders on their toes and that we might alter Hobbes theory an interpret it to be true if strong governments translates to an equally strong electorate….



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