Western Province will not be a swing vote in the presidential race in the coming general elections in the first round
Written by West FM
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There is a stampede by prospective Presidential candidates for the Presidential vote of the people of Western Province if recent events are any predictor of what lies ahead.
Western Province has since the dawn of the era of multiparty democracy in Kenya in 1992 been the swing Province for the winner of the Presidency in the last four general elections.
A swing vote is the metaphor used to describe a vote that may go to any of a number of candidates in an election. Swing votes are intensely sought after in elections as they invariably play a big role in determining who wins an election.
The politics of Kenya though trumpeted as a democracy based on one man and one woman vote as prescribed in the Constitution at Article 38 that enshrines universal suffrage are in the unstated reality and through the empirical evidence shown that electoral politics in Kenya is rooted in high octane tribalism. Tribe rocks in Kenya’s political electoral intercourse.
An empirical analysis of the voting patterns of Kenya regions and bigger communities show that it is only Western Province and Coast Province and Kisii- Nyanza Province that have voted democratically and at different times given variegated political parties representation in Parliament and also voted for diverse Presidential candidates at different general elections since the onset of multiparty politics. When one stretches back memory to independence politics the same patterns can be discerned.
The clear and glaring reality since the dawn of the multiparty era is that the Luo Community have voted enmass for a Luo Presidential candidate or a candidate who Prime Minister Raila Odinga or his late father endorsed. Equally, the Kikuyu Community has consistently voted for a Kikuyu or a variety of Kikuyu Presidential Candidates. And the Kalenjin Community has enmass voted for a specific candidate who though not Kalenjin they deemed would give them maximum political favoritism when they were not voting for former President Moi.
Western Province with the unequivocal declaration of Hon. Musalia Mudavadi as a Presidential Candidate in the coming general elections will have one of its own son as a Presidential Candidate and contender together with Eugene Wamalwa who though is in the Rift Valley Province draws a huge following in Western Province by virtue of being a Luhyia.
Time will tell whether both Hon. Musalia Mudavadi and Hon. Eugene Wamalwa will be on the Presidential ballot paper in the next general elections. One thing is certain as the sun will rise and set that if Hon. Musalia Mudavadi or Hon. Eugene Wamalwa will be on the presidential ballot paper then Western Province will not, repeat, will not be a swing Province as it has traditionally been in the last four general elections and more pertinently on the Presidential vote and in the first round of voting.
And let those political novices from Western Province throwing stones, insults, mud as hired guns for Presidential aspirants from outside Western Province know that when the call is made Western Province shall vote for a candidate who hails from the region. That voting will not be tribalism but plain pragmatism and seeking self advancement of the regions interests. And in any event why must Western Province and to wit the Luhyia Community be held hostage to vote on the democratic tenets of one man, one woman, one vote as the currency of voting and the Luo, Kikuyu, Kalenjin Communities vote using the one community one vote for their own as their currency of voting. Those who stand on roof tops to shout about nationalism remain the ones who hold their communities on the leash of tribalism. Western Province has demonstrated in the past four general elections that it is democratic to a fault. It awaits the Kenya of other dominant communities to play catch up. It need not proof any point.
If Hon. Musalia Mudavadi or Hon. Eugene Wamalwa are able to pitch the audacity to dare go the full race to the presidential ballot, then make no mistake that whoever is narrowed down upon will sweep all the votes of the region. But a Presidential race in Kenya is no picnic and it cannot be a serious contest unless one has courage, tenacity, self-belief and capacity to put structures, networks and strategies to galvanize the greater Kenya. Money is not everything. It is the vision, the self belief and relentless application to the cause to clinch the Presidency.
Western Province will have to self belief in itself as able to produce the 4th President of Kenya and go for it. That Presidency will never be bequeathed on the region by anybody. It will have to be fought for not just once but many many times. But the gods are smiling on Western Province this coming general elections. Go for it. It is your Constitutional entitlement.
WEST FM EDITORIAL©2012