MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 98

a party that will endorse you, having demonstrated beyond the shadow of doubt that you can be entrusted with more bullion to siphon. Nothing succeeds like fraud in Kenya. Ochieng had so far failed to find any connection between Kenyan parties and the whole election process and hence the reason why he had set the essay question to try and get the students to do some soul searching and illuminate this dark area. Ochieng is unclear as to how an orange became ODM and later CORD and finally NASA without there being any party conference deliberating on which direction Kenya needed to move in and a detailed manifesto crafted to explain how they would take us there. In the same vein he is not in a position to explain how a banana went through a convoluted path to eventually resurface as Jubilee where every person interested in leading this country must join at the peril of being left out of the bandwagon. Now we have made the waters murkier by introducing the Independents. This group’s existence stems from a supposed common allegation that they were rigged out by their respective parties. The narrative being that the people overwhelmingly want them but the parties do not. In other words the parties that participate in the national democratic process are not themselves democratic. So why have the parties in the first place if the party officials are not reflecting the will of the people in the primaries? We have always known that the political party in Kenya is a well- positioned business enterprise whose sole purpose is to extort money from aspirants. That is why they harp on the need for six-piece voting pattern as they guarantee the outcome in 96 MAL 18/17 ISSUE ‘‘ Ochieng was already having a bad day! It is funny how one tends to remember with clarity insignificant dates of events that happened so long ago. One would think that with all the information that bombards our senses all day long our filters would be more effective.’’ given areas. So the people do not actually vote for the individual, they vote for the party. Since the party is non-existent as we have seen it means that the people are actually voting for nobody and hence the reason why we are unable to hold anybody accountable for the poor leadership. Party primaries are an auction where the prize goes to the highest bidder unless the highest bidder is for some reason undesirable to the auctioneers. This phenomenon whereby the highest bidder did not automatically get the party ticket is what has given rise to the Independents. The mistake the Independents are making is to assume that they have something to sell assuming that the people are the buyers. The people in Kenya have long delegated the buying function to the business enterprise called the party and this is what the Independents cannot stomach. The Independents think they can eliminate the middle man, the party and go directly to the people as vendors since it is quite clear it is a game of resources. If they succeed which is in itself an uphill task without a grass-root network, it will actually be very good for Kenya. It would mean that for a change people will have voted for a person, presumably for his track record and not through blind party allegiance. It should also be noted that if you are not in either NASA or Jubilee you are effectively an Independent. Things need to change in Kenya and the time is nigh when we stop voting as automated party robots and actually interrogate why we are choosing a particular individual. This interrogation needs to cover the whole spectrum of leaders from an MCA to the President. Ochieng laments that no party has even bothered to try and sell a vision for Kenya. They are so busy trying to protect their enclaves, blaming each other for real and imagined shortcomings and blackmailing each other over who gets the rights to rig. We cannot even hope that the people will have the last word on where Kenya should be going because the people are so clueless and they are more than willing to be bought for a pittance to vote unwisely on a matter that so fundamentally affects their lives. Whoever said that the only constant in life is change had evidently not met any true Kenyan, we thrive in stagnation and we fight change so vigorously that we are willing to shed blood not to change. Ochieng wonders if any Kenyan even remembers the bad old days of KANU. We don’t seem to have learnt anything or changed in over fifty years, we have failed to harness and implement the advantages of democracy as enshrined in our new constitution: we have regressed into tribal cocoons rather than embrace nationalism and progress - That is tragic!