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Elections: Between The Hype And The Truth:

By Ahmed Muhideen:

Kenya’s recent presidential elections were cancelled by the Supreme court over transmission irregularities.

At the turn of every 5 years, my people are afflicted by something similar to what is known in theological seminaries as ‘ exaltation’.

This in precis involves elevating a human being in rank and ability, ascribing superhuman attributes to them and naively believing that only their preferred candidate can steer that section of humanity away from deprivation and misery and on to the promised land of Canaan.

Perhaps taking the Latin phraseology ‘ vox populi, vox dei (the voice of people is the voice of God) too literal, even while we remain fully conscious of the fact that the voice of the people has symbolized a state of hopelessness for the most part of our history.

In 2013, that superhero salvific messiah was Nathif J Adam. He was expected to exorcise the demon of ethnicity, slay the ghost of nepotism and corruption & catalyze the county towards an irreversible path of economic prosperity, stability and cutting edge infrastructural revolution.

Riding on the backdrop of this euphoric illusions, he pledged to turn Garissa into a veritable garden of Aden, we bought into his utopian, snake oil fantasy, and consumed it, the whole nine yards, then on August the 8th, came the devastating scorecard – needless to say it was a damning indictment of his epic leadership failures-

Deeply dispirited and roundly disaffected by the dismal performance of the man in whom they invested so much emotional capital and expectations, my people who are no strangers to itenarian lifestyle, surged ahead once again, this time in search of a Davidic Messiah: the subtle differences between the two is that the salvific messiah was anticipated to usher in a new milieu of material abundance free from privation, the Davidic messiah however is expected to restore the lost glory, hegemony and dynasty of a hitherto aggrieved nation.

Like a fiddlers elbow, we have been in and out of this self-inflicted political deception for the past two decades, yet continue to insanely believe that our collective human fulfillment lies will the election of this or that individual.

A lot has been said about the current putative governor (ABK) in the past, presently and during the campaigns.

He is unarguably a man of vast administrative experience, he is poised, soft spoken, teflon and telegenic but can he on his own fulfill the dreams and aspirations of his compatriots or are we palpably setting ourselves up for yet another round of humiliating disappointments?

ABK’S critics argue that he is a caustic character who will further divide and polarize the county along ethnic lines. His undying thirst for power has earned him the comparison to Cersei Lannister in some circles : this is a character from game of thrones best known for being a ruthless, power hungry villainess responsible for the repression of thousands just so she can sit on the iron throne.

Others say there is hope that the new governor would be moderated by the duties and responsibilities of office – the so called pivot to authentic leadership . We really do hope the call of office will transform his views and attitudes in order to have an all inclusive government that represents the face of Garissa county.

As we now edge ever so slightly closer to the formation of his government, the first flickers of imminent failure beckons in the horizon.

Already people are rightly vexed at the choice of his deputy county secretary.

What kind of message does it send to our young talented professionals when you outsource recruitment for high office from social media’s D-listers? That education is worthless, sheer waste of time and resources? that graduate attributes for earning a high stake job is predicated on being a busy body, a hero worshiper, and unconditional loyalty to influential politicians? Furthermore, what precedence does it set to our upcoming leaders?

To be clear I’m not saying that the governor should turn away his key campaigners and acolytes empty handed but surely there must be multiple ways of pleasing your henchmen without giving us a government of dotards and D-listers!

The writer is a Nep Journal Contributor and comments on political and current affairs.

 

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