What you need to know:
- The success of the political class does not necessarily mean that the poor will benefit.
- Azimio can make our lives easy by being factual and making demands that are actionable and less polarising.
Azimio coalition and its leadership could be having a good case for the mass action unveiled on Thursday.
However, the move is ill-advised and ill-timed, considering that Kenyans are grappling with many challenges. In addition, this could destabilise the country.
Our country has good examples of successful democracies or emerging and failed ones. Some of our neighbours, especially in the North, have been at war for decades.
In the emerging and successful democracies, citizens are busy building their nations while in the failed ones, citizens are supporting warlords who may not have the interest of the nation at heart.
It shatters my heart to see thousands of youths across the country abandoning what puts bread on the table to attend political rallies and demonstrations.
In the developed world where one is paid according to the number of hours they have worked, such political rallies are alien but in Kenya, they have become a way of life.
There is a correlation between our poverty and behavior. You will seldom see formally employed Kenyans or those who have successful careers and businesses attending politically charged and ‘charged’ meetings. To put it in another way, you will never see close relatives of the leaders attending these meetings. So one can rightly say that these demonstrations are meant to charge the poor for the benefit of the political elites and their families.
The success of the political class does not necessarily mean that the poor will benefit. I would like to urge Azimio to put the UDA government in check. How about doing constructive oversight and making genuine demands?
How about demanding the removal of taxes that are hurting Kenyans? For example, the many taxes that we are told make petroleum products the most expensive in this part of the world? How about ensuring that the government takes responsibility for ensuring that we have functional schools and free education? How about ensuring that we have hard facts on the misuse of public funds and ways of saving them?
Azimio can make our lives easy by being factual and making demands that are actionable and less polarising. Suppose every political faction called its supporters to the streets to counter the other, would we have a nation to talk about?
Raila and his team must change tack to align to the 21st Century politics. Calling out hungry Kenyans to the streets will only impoverish our country. Like Kibaki would say, “Kenya should be a working nation” and St Paul of the Good Book would add to that, “He who does not work should not eat”. It’s possible that those ordinary citizens who attend the ralliess go to bed hungry while their leaders have the usual coursed meals everyday.
Joe Mungai, Washington State, USA