Kenneth Juror | Kenya
How many of us are going to vote in the coming general elections?
I ask this in light with the recently concluded by-elections, Kangema, Kajiado North, Ndhiwa and several wards across the country, to which there was high voter apathy with constituencies like Kangema registering a paltry 33% of the registered voters.
As J. F. Kennedy once said ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country. This quote is not far from us if only we vote and not just vote but wisely vote as this is one of the surest ways of what we can do for our motherland moreover, fulfill our democratic mandate.
In the course of this week I asked a pertinent question; who in this current parliament has articulated the youth’s agenda? I however did not get an answer yet we constitute more than 50% of the total population. We can boast of being many in number whereas our ideas and aspirations cannot be concretized and therefore blur our own vision as well as blow our chances of electing one or several of our own as the old order’s divide and rule policy prevails to our disadvantage.
We are the ones who talk of a high rate of unemployment with a dysfunctional government that is not responsive to the youth’s agenda not to mention the number of times we have fought each other as bwana mkubwa fans and bankrolls the violence/clashes. We end up killing, maiming and raping at a cost of Sh200/= or even less. In addition, we viciously fight for Bwana Mkubwa who is to be a Mheshimiwa then later on sober up to start yelling atop our voices for generational change in leadership yet we do not accept one of our own or simply dismiss a fellow youth on his/her financial incapability.
I must commend the private sector and non-governmental organizations (USAid, UKAid,Inuka Kenya, NMG among others) for stepping down the pedal in advocacy for leadership, perhaps we may get a new crop of leaders. A leadership that is responsive to its citizens not a government that threatens its workers with a sack if they do not get back to work.
Can a government still call itself legitimate yet it cannot listen to its workers? Then, to whose interest is it working for or serving?
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich” J.F Kennedy
I therefore wish to tell my fellow youth that the change that we have wished for is purely and squarely in our own hands. We can change this social and economic ills bedeviling our country through the strong power of the vote and not merely voting but ultimately vote wisely.