How will we hold leaders to account?

Raila Odinga

Today Kenyans will choose who, between Mr Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya and Kenya Kwanza’s Deputy President William Ruto,Mr George Wajackoya of Roots Party and Agano Party’s David Mwaure to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Today is our decision day. We will be deciding on the leadership of this country at the national and county levels. We have many alternatives to choose from. Our decisions are based on different factors, both rational and irrational. We have many that have been in the race for years.

Others are either new to the game of politics or are seasonal politicians, on and off. As citizens, we are obliged to be part of the electoral process. Like many Kenyans, I will be voting to exercise my democratic right.

In the last few months, I have interacted with many Kenyans. Some have chosen to make their preferred candidates public, some will not vote and others, like myself, regard voting as a private matter.

Many voters lack a strong sense of belonging to any political party because our political parties are fluid. Each election year, new parties are born and coalitions are formed as vehicles to win the election. I have lost count of the number of dead political parties and the mutations they have gone through. Our political parties do not seem to have clarity on their ideologies.

The main goals for most political parties are to try and be part of the winning coalition, have some candidates win, or at least bargain for positions within the government. Looking back over the last two decades, every election has been won by a new coalition. The 50 percent+1 winning formula means that a key strategy is to attract as many votes as possible.

Outright unrealistic

A lot of promises are made during the campaign season. Some are outright unrealistic. Other promises are simply made to attract votes with no intention of keeping them.

Most of the promises made, if kept, could make Kenya a better country for all. Unfortunately, most of these promises are often broken. As we transition into a new administration at the national level and as counties get new leaders, I wonder how many of the promises made will be kept. Who will hold the winning coalition to account?

How can we, as the citizenry, hold our leaders at all levels to account? How will we follow through on promises made on the campaign trail? How can the leadership uphold equity irrespective of the voting patterns? As a country, our economic development is heavily anchored on the political climate. How will our business environment be positively influenced by the new regime?

Secret ballot system

The fact is that only one of the candidates for each of the elective positions will win. We need to be psychologically prepared for the outcomes. The best that we can do as a citizenry is to choose to live in harmony irrespective of our candidate of choice.

Our family members, friends, neighbours, and co-workers have a right to make their choice. In some households, different candidates will be voted for. The secret ballot system makes this possible.

Let us vote and return to building our country in our small ways. Let us vote, stay calm and maintain peace as we await the outcome. Let us vote and accept the results. Kenya requires each of us to do our part to help build a better Kenya for all!

Dr Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

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