So what is the purpose of elections for the people of Western Province and North Rift?
Written by West Fm
Read 1208 Times
“Our (America’s) greatest distinction has been won by actions, not words, by deeds, not dreams, by concrete accomplishment, not airy theorizing”
By B.C. Forbes 1880-1954, Founder of Forbes Magazine
The forthcoming General Elections will be yet again a wasteful ritual indulged in every five years cycle by the people of Western Province and North Rift unless we are able to understand and own the purpose of elections. For if we do not comprehend and imbibe the gravity of the purpose of elections, then we will be engaging in the same for amusements sake, entertainment and theatre.
The question each and every registered voter in Western Province and North Rift must ask himself or herself is what is the purpose of the general elections. If the elector cannot answer that question and in the context of his or her situation based on the last five years since a similar election was conducted then the elector is doomed to repeat history of either electing a performing elected leader or a non performing elected leader.
The key function of any election is as a means of ensuring accountability. That those elected to an office for a fixed period will at the end of that period be audited, vetted, interrogated on whether they performed or not and if they did not perform then they be ejected from office and replaced with a new set of leaders who will serve the voters.
The coming General Elections are a constitutional opportunity given every five years to the electorate as a means of enforcing political accountability on those who they had voted in the last General Election.
The electorate of Western Province and North Rift must go to the coming General Elections to vote retrospectively by looking backward to the results, performance provided by the incumbent elected leaders before casting their ballot.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 will be rendered a dead letter if the electorate of the region does not undertake a thorough evaluation of the present crop of elected leaders and only re-elect those who delivered on their five year mandate in Parliament or the Local Authorities and those who pass the Chapter Six of the Constitution Leadership and Integrity benchmarks.
It is no use elected leaders now engaging in a flurry of posturing as being involved in delivery of services to the electorate only on the eve of the General Elections in the fifth year and when they had gone to slumber or become Nairobi hidden expatriates in the first four years in office.
West fm states that this is the opportune time for those who seek to dislodge incumbent elected leaders be they Members of Parliament or Councilors to stand up and interrogate those incumbents performance records and offer themselves as credible alternatives.
Western Province and North Rift will not realize effective political leadership, political accountability unless and until the electorate and civil society, religious organizations, trade unions, and all other stakeholders entrench the culture of on every fifth year to the General Election undertaking a candid and brutal evaluation of the performance of those they entrusted political offices for the ending five years and those who have not performed be ejected and consigned to the dustbin of political failures.
The hullaballoo of the elected leaders about unity at this time is a red herring, a smokescreen for them to evade political audit for their five years performance. And if they were unable to unite in the last five years and deliver development projects, of what use is their unity after making the region lose out on development in those past five years.
The people of Western Province and North Rift must be hyper vigilant and refuse to be hoodwinked by their non-performing elected leaders who now for purely personal selfish political survival are hypocritically preaching Luhya Unity and such other hogwash. Past performance, past track record on delivery of development, improving the living standards of the electorate of the region must be the only yardstick of re-electing a leader come the next General Election and not empty promises of unity. Those who have been doers, deliverers of development ought to fear nothing.
Elections give the people of Kenya the chance to elect persons of impeccable integrity who will for the next five years as their democratically elected representatives’ exercise on behalf of the people the people’s sovereignty enshrined at Articles 1 of the Constitution. Elections are life and death matters as the electorate delegates most of its sovereign power to those they elect and as to how the resources of the country will be managed, protected, nurtured and applied to improve the lives of the people or be misused to impoverish the people.
This is the time for those seeking re-election and those who want to dislodge the elected leaders to market, articulate, present, demonstrate their vision, their strategies, their road maps, policies that they will champion so as to uplift the electorate from poverty, unemployment, disease, ignorance, and hopelessness. The electorate must then scrutinize those visions, strategies, policies, road maps and be able to determine which ones are empty, impractical and settle on those that are demonstrated as realistic, practically viable and backed by doers not empty talkers.
The electorate gave those who have held elected office for the past five year’s power. And power is nothing but a responsibility to do the right thing. And since nothing is ever settled until it is settled right, no matter how unlimited power a man or woman may have, unless he or she exercises it fairly and justly his or her actions will return to plague him or her.
The electorate of Western Province and North Rift ask yourself individually the purpose for which elections are held before you decide which party and which candidate you will wish to elect to represent you. The next election marks the 11th five year cycle of elections in Kenya since independence. Do we as the electorate, with a brand new Constitution, wish to repeat the 10 mistakes we have made in the past General Elections since independence or do we commit ourselves to chart a new course of political accountability and leadership that serves all the electorate and their children and not leadership that enriches itself and its families and cronies?
WEST FM EDITORIAL©2012