An open letter to the Kenyan voter


Chapter 7 of the constitution, article 83 (1)a, b,c gives the qualifications for one to be registered as a voter. The IEBC for the past 20 days have set registration centres within counties for the purpose of registering voters. It is a civic duty to take part in politics and chose how it is you want to be governed. It is the only way you can choose representatives[whether they actually represent us is a different issue]. I hope that all those eligible to vote have registered or are in the process of doing so.

The same constitution in Chapter 6 on leadership and Integrity states among others the following,

73. (1) Authority assigned to a State officer—
(a) is a public trust to be exercised in a manner that—
(ii) demonstrates respect for the people;
(iii) brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office;
and
(iv) promotes public confidence in the integrity of the
office; and

(b) vests in the State officer the responsibility to serve the people, rather than the power to rule them.

(2) The guiding principles of leadership and integrity include—
(a) selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, or election in free and fair elections;
(b) objectivity and impartiality in decision making, and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favouritism, other improper motives or corrupt practices;
(c) selfless service based solely on the public interest, demonstrated by—
(i) honesty in the execution of public duties; and
(ii) the declaration of any personal interest that may conflict with public duties;
(d) accountability to the public for decisions and actions; and
(e) discipline and commitment in service to the people.

Having read the above proviso, on whose interest is the duo of Ruto and Uhuru running? Rules of natural justice demand that a man  be treated as innocent till proven guilty, the two gentlemen have a pending case at the ICC, accused of, among others, forceful transfer of people, rape and other crimes against humanity. Their interest in the presidency in the coming general election is not driven by a desire to serve the country but to scuttle the process of justice. They are joined in this unholy alliance by Bashir, who sees nothing wrong with the continued killing of citizens in Darfur and walks free even with an ICC indictment. The duo, Uhuru- Ruto have stirred ethnic passions that we no longer look at the real issues at stake but treat this as a case of them against us.

Good people of Kenya, wake up. It is the time to say no once for all to say to impunity, disregard of the law, tribalism, power for its sake and to say yes to progress, to development and prosperity. In 2010 we enacted a new constitution that among others sought to improve our representation, devolve the structure of government and expand our freedoms, the two gentlemen traversing the country at that time campaigned and voted against the entire document. They asked you not to pass it, but you did so overwhelmingly. You are being called again to rise and defend that which lives have been lost fighting for. Now is the time. Now is the moment. Time will judge us unfairly if we squander the moment that history has given us to say definitively that we will not once again be ruled by barbarians.

On March 4th when you go to vote, this question should linger on your mind; do you want your president and his deputy to be sitting at the Hague answering to charges of crimes against humanity, do you want to wake up with sanctions from our development partners, loss of funding for healthcare projects, education, agriculture, sanctions on trade and loss of bilateral trade? These are the questions you must answer as you cast your vote.

The first president, Jomo Kenyatta, so plundered the country that his son hasn’t the need to steal. I can’t hold that against him, but I ask, has he or his family returned the vast acres of land that his family owns? I don’t think so. The family has enough money and resources to buy the support of everyone, even his ardent enemies are cowed in his presence. Please use your conscience, take all the money you can but please vote for a better future.

It is not an election against the Kikuyu, the Kikuyu as a community are not vying for the presidency, no it’s an individual and I know that a broke Kikuyu and a broke Luo are all broke. Should it happen that you vote this duo to State House, you will have to find a market for your flowers, your tea and all those things that are produced for the export market. The trade between Kenya ans Sudan will not be sufficient to support the economy, think critically about this and make a choice.

The political coalitions that have sprung leave me very sad. I can tell you the politicians don’t represent us, they don’t care about you or me. They play mind games with us. They stir passions of hate between us but remain friends. Look at the marriage between Raila and Kalonzo. The last four years the two have gone at each others jugular only to come together for the sake of numbers, not ideology. Don’t allow yourself to believe that they represent change, nothing, they want power for the sake of power. They will marry anyone as long as they bring numbers even if their ideologies are as parallel as lines of longitude. They could be a safe bet but nothing more than that. They are part of the old guard, they have swindled us from the word go, some like Kalonzo, since the days of one party rule and the rest since the repeal of Chapter 2A of the old constitution. These ladies and gentlemen are lying to you when they claim to represent you, they don’t. Did any one of them speak when there was transport crisis? Has anyone offered a way forward of dealing with run away insecurity, perennial food shortages, runaway prices of commodity, you bet none. They are concerned more with how they can continue to line their wallets with money that you work so hard to raise.

They shed crocodile tears when one of them dies, they lower the national flag, declare a day of mourning, they raise funds for the bereaved families and bring the nation to a standstill with their cars when they attend the funerals. When more than 100 people, hardworking citizens, were killed in their sleep in their homes, the flag was not flown at half mast, no day of national mourning was declared. When one of them dies in an accident we have commissions of inquiry. They are our employees, and rule with our permission. We can’t keep worshiping the politician, he does not get his power from a deity! He answers to you and me, the represented.

They ask you to be patriotic when they take the country to war, they don’t care about you. They care about profits. They position themselves to get the contracts to supply the weapons, they send your brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to the front-line to die while their sons and daughters go to international universities from where they will come to rule you. You are misled to believe you are in a democracy, it’s a sham. You must free yourselves from it. No family can claim to want to rule throughout as if leadership and talent are hereditary.

They pay lip service to workers demands, they know they can afford to fly to seek medicare elsewhere when your nurses, doctors and other staff go on strike. They pay lip service to professional bodies. Lecturers, teachers and lawyers can all picket but none of them will talk about it. Their sons and daughters are abroad attending school where lecturers hardly ever go on strike. They pay lip service to dock workers, they do not care that the operations at the port affect prices of commodities and trade between our partners in East Africa, no, that is not important to them. They are concerned with how they can amend the law to steal from you and me. We can’t keep supporting their bad habits, no we must say no once and for all.

It is time for a revolt, let the March plebiscite be a warning to the politicians. Let us say no to tyranny of money. Let us say no to despots. Let us say no to abuse of the rule of law, to tribalism, to nepotism, to corruption, to social ills that make it impossible for a child born in Turkana to get to university. Let us vow that once and for all we will change the direction our country will take and when it is all said and done, let us all join hands in congratulating ourselves for a work well done.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

3 thoughts on “An open letter to the Kenyan voter

  1. psimiyu says:

    Am made to believing more thought-provoking letters like this will hold voters course in the turbulent waters of ‘modern-day’ Kenyan politics.You have mentioned fundamental and critical element in “voter-government” relationship which has over time and again been addressed. Regrettably, it has received scant attention from one of the parties to this relationship.
    It’s not that we have don’t have leaders, we got them in abundance. Actually our leaders have vision and are very strategic. Not because of the selflessness to serve their bosses (the voter) but selfishness of getting back to office and do what they do best. They have aligned and re-aligned themselves in anticipation of how their bosses are going to act. This is strategic thinking. Coalitions to formulate the ‘best’ tag-team for a victory, that’s vision.
    Questions to the key party in the earlier mentioned relationship…
    THE VOTER
    Question 1: Did you know that you, overtime have created an environment that tolerates wrong doing and overtly or subtly with a ‘wink and a nod’?
    Question 2: Do you know what you expect from employees (politicians)?
    Question 3: Did you know that you are so powerful to determine how your employee acts?
    My fellow ‘bosses’ we have the power….. and to my ’employees’ lets meet in March 2013.

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  2. […] it has a chapter on integrity for state officers.  In 2013 or shortly before the general elections, as I wrote in this piece, the courts failed Kenyans when they allowed suspects facing grave crimes to vie for presidency.  […]

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  3. […] I will start by saying majority of the voting public is insane. In 2013, I wrote an open letter to those who can read imploring you it would have been much better to vote […]

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