What is a rebel? A man who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. He is also a man who says yes, from the moment he makes his first gesture of rebellion. A slave who has taken orders all his life suddenly decides that he cannot obey some new command. What does he mean by saying “no”?
He means, for example, that “this has been going on too long,” “up to this point yes, beyond it no,” “you are going too far,” or, again, “there is a limit beyond which you shall not go.” In other words, his no affirms the existence of a borderline. The same concept is to be found in the rebel’s feeling that the other person “is exaggerating,” that he is exerting his authority beyond a limit where he begins to infringe on
the rights of others. Thus the movement of rebellion is founded simultaneously on the categorical rejection of an intrusion that is considered intolerable and on the confused conviction of an absolute right which, in the rebel’s mind, is more precisely the impression that he “has the right to . . .” Rebellion cannot
exist without the feeling that, somewhere and somehow, one is right. It is in this way that the rebel slave says yes and no simultaneously. He affirms that there are limits and also that he suspects—and wishes to preserve—the existence of certain things on this side of the borderline. He demonstrates, with obstinacy, that there is something in him which “is worth while . . .” and which must be taken into consideration. In a certain way, he confronts an order of things which oppresses him with the insistence on a kind of right not to be oppressed beyond the limit that he can tolerate.
Albert Camus, The Rebel
Let the record show I have done my duty.
As many of you are by now aware, we go to the polls in 5 days to elect our representatives and those who will govern for the next five years. Five years ago, I wrote about the elections and the choices we had to make at that point. It appears the majority had their way.
In the next 5 days, we have an opportunity for self-determination. 5 years ago I raised issues of integrity on the candidature of Uhuru and Ruto. My country men and women know too well how many people, who had volunteered as witnesses for the ICC, have since died or disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Cases of extrajudicial killings abound, unresolved murders that can be laid at the foot of this regime.
We have had runaway food prices. The government even engineered a shortage of maize meal, staple food for the majority. There are reports the government supplied farmers with substandard fertilizer among other things. To elect this same group would be an act of stupidity. Irrationality.
When we enacted a new constitutions, we hoped it will lead to self-determination. The president and his deputy opposed the drive for the new constitution and have paid lip service to giving it life. Wherever they can, they have frustrated its implementation.
We have heard the economy has grown. This growth, I think has only benefited a few well placed people who have made government tendering a business. We have heard the government has created over a million new jobs. This, my friend, is against major firms downsizing or transferring their businesses elsewhere. To believe the lies the government is telling, is again, to be irrational.
The regime has militarized the police in place of improving their living and working conditions. But for whatever reasons that I still do not understand, this class of human beings are to me, the most stupid. Every time we have agitated for better working conditions, they have come out with water canons, teargas and bullets to defend the state.
Have I told you how the government has failed in provision of healthcare, improving access to public education or having failed to discuss the working and pay conditions for lecturers? It is like they are determined to destroy all public institutions and create opportunities for capitalistic exploiters to thrive.
This government has excelled in making nepotism a way of doing things. A few tribesmen and women, regardless of qualification, have landed lucrative government appointments or contracts.
It has contracted peace-mongers among well placed media personalities, celebrities[sic] to remind us to vote peacefully. For a people who are generally peacefully, this is comical. We all vote peacefully. It has been the government and its cronies who have forced our hand when they rig elections. Again, most post-election violence has been laid at the foot of politicians, some well-connected. As citizens, all we demand is for our votes to count, nothing more nothing less.
Well, I can go on and on about why it is stupid to re- elect the duo to head this state.
We have an opportunity to elect a new set of leaders.
We have an opportunity to address historical injustices related to land, among others.
We have an opportunity to elect a government that cares about the lives of citizens, where extrajudicial killings is not the norm.
We have an opportunity to have an inclusive government, where surname does not determine whether you get a contract or not.
There is an opportunity to have a government where development doesn’t equate to ghost projects but changed livelihoods.
We have an opportunity to give life to our constitution.
We have an opportunity to elect leaders who have a vision, however flawed.
We have an opportunity to have leaders who stand for something not amassing wealth and self enrichment.
We have an opportunity to improve public service.
We have an opportunity to build our public hospitals and schools. We have an opportunity to stop a government that sees us a business commodities, people to make money from.
This opportunity is not served by electing Jubilee. They have demonstrated they are incompetent. Murderous. Thieves. Corrupt. Without a vision or a goal other than to steal and enrich themselves at the expense of all of us hardworking citizens.
It starts on 8th August by casting your vote. I am awake to the argument it is elitist to consider the average voter ignorant of their needs, but there is evidence, from around the world, that this is actually a possibility. With this in mind, I say firmly, without fear of contradiction that it would be foolhardy to re-elect Uhuru and Ruto to lead this country.