We must live with the leaders we elect

A group of voters queue in Mathare, Nairobi.

A group of voters queue while waiting to vote early in the morning at a polling station during Kenya's general election at St. Stephen School in the informal settlement of Mathare in Nairobi, Kenya, on August 9, 2022. Citizens should hold their elected officials accountable for their actions and decisions.

Photo credit: Luis Tato | AFP

It is essential for Kenyans to understand the power of democracy and its direct influence on the type of leaders they have.

When individuals participate in the electoral process, they have the opportunity to choose the representatives who will govern and make decisions on their behalf. However, if the electorate consistently elects and supports mediocre leaders, it is only natural that they will receive mediocre services in return.

Democracy grants citizens the responsibility and privilege to shape the future of their nation. By making informed choices and selecting competent leaders who demonstrate strong values, vision, and the ability to effectively address the needs of the people, Kenyans can pave the way for progress and development.

It is crucial to recognise that the accountability of elected officials lies with the citizens who put them into power. If the electorate consistently settles for mediocre candidates or allows themselves to be swayed by factors such as ethnicity, nepotism, or short-term personal gains, it ultimately undermines the potential for good governance and quality public services.

To overcome this cycle, Kenyans must prioritise political awareness, education, and engagement. By actively seeking out information about the candidates, their track records, and their proposed policies, citizens can make more informed choices during elections. It is vital to look beyond charisma or immediate gains and focus on the long-term benefits that competent leaders can bring to the country.

Furthermore, citizens should hold their elected officials accountable for their actions and decisions. This can be achieved through various means, such as demanding transparency, participating in public forums, and expressing concerns through peaceful demonstrations or civil society organisations. By actively engaging in the democratic process beyond elections, Kenyans can help foster a culture of responsible leadership and ensure that their voices are heard.

In conclusion, Kenyans should recognise that democracy provides them with the opportunity to shape their future by electing capable leaders.

Settling for mediocre choices will only perpetuate a cycle of mediocrity in governance and public services. By embracing their role as active participants in democracy, citizens can bring about positive change, demanding and receiving the competent leadership and quality services they deserve.

Simon Chibole, Uasin Gishu

Kenyans need to be given more hope on promises made by some of our leaders. There are many promises being made by leaders that effectively need to be made to work. This is what the Kenyan people need today than anything else. While hopes stand out, promises should always be made to be workable.

Francis Njuguna, Kiambu