The journey to the conclusion of the 2017 elections feels like a never-ending bus ride and I feel like a passenger with a school going boy who keep asking, “Daddy, are we there yet? Why is it taking us so long?” I wish I had an easy answer to his simple question. “Almost”, I assure him even as I feel a sense of trepidation lining my voice.
The editor sends a message in the middle of the week. About a picture on whatapp. Have you seen this? The woman in the picture is wearing a gaudy wedding dress with her face covered by a bridal veil. She holds the hand of a little girl dressed for a chilly morning. The little girl has a shortwave radio strapped over her shoulder. In other hand she holds a placard, that reads, “Need for a husband?” Included are, Her name, the full disclosure of child from a previous relationship, her child’s age and her phone number. They are standing in the heart of Nairobi, off Tom Mboya street in one of the busiest parts of the CBD.
What do I think?
Words: Anyango Odhiambo
53 years since Kenya’s independence I have little to commemorate and nothing to celebrate. It bothers me the way we are glossing over the past with such aplomb yet in the present we have outgrown our national significance. We are yet to instill a national identity or a sense of national unity among the people living within our borders.
Functioning in a democracy requires more than marking a ballot every five years. It also requires an informed citizenry, knowledgeable about concepts of justice, notions of logic, approaches to problem-solving, ideals in child rearing, gender roles, values, morality and worldviews.
Kenya has sunk into a blind allegiance to a system, which has no recourse to any sort of higher human values.
August 10, 2017.
It felt like an eerie calm before a storm. We were in the midst of what was brewing up to be another disputed election. The NASA coalition leader, Raila Odinga had raised concerns over the credibility of the election process by tabling a hacking allegation. The response from Wafula Chebukati was cagey at first before IEBC out rightly denied Raila’s claims. On the public opinion forums the conversations were dominated by techies trading knowledge on databases and log files.
It had only been three days since Kenyans turned out to vote on August 8th but the suspense had already started to bite as ordinary folk got jittery. Hour after hour of news analysis and commentary had left viewers either more confused or anxious. Underlying it all was the sickening feeling of de ja vu. We had been here before.