What next for NASA supporters?
In the aftermath of the 2017 general elections, I had a quiet moment by myself and contemplated my impact towards the entire process. I asked myself whether I had made any impact in the first place, whether I was satisfied with the little I had done (voted on 8th August, didn’t vote on 26th October) and asked myself ‘What Next?’
The answers to the first two questions were ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’. The third answer took a long while before I finally decided what to do next. At this point I must say I supported NASA and I was very disappointed in the turn of events in the period between the two voting days.
Should I resist? Was there a justified reason to resist at all? Were the NASA leaders even sincere in their calls to resist the companies they told their supporters, and Kenyans in general, to resist? Well, no. The whole resist movement was and still is a losing battle. The strategists that came up with that idea are detached from the day to day life of the ‘common mwananchi’ to say the least if they even for a second thought such a movement would be sustainable in the long term.
The decision to want to swear in the NASA Leader Raila Odinga is designed to rally the base but ultimately nothing of the sort will happen. NASA is firmly in the opposition now, no matter how much it and its supporters convince themselves we are still in an election period. So then, what next for you and me?
Accountability. That is the answer. In order for us as Kenyans to achieve our ambitions, or even to begin to drive this nation towards that direction, we have to start to hold all those leaders we elected accountable. Not just the president and his deputy, but also all 1450 MCAs, 290 MPs, 47 Women Reps, 47 senators and 47 Governors. Also to be included in this list are the nominated members of county and national assemblies, cabinet secretaries and their Permanent secretaries, parastatal heads and all civil servants in general.
Our job as citizens of this country is to hold all these people accountable for the actions they take, the decisions they make, policies they craft etc because ultimately they are doing all these things on our behalf. Surely we can be united in this, no?
I purposed myself to follow as much as possible the goings on of both levels of government, to question their every move and to speak up whenever I smell something fishy going on and I am now asking you to join me in doing so because let’s face it, human beings in general perform when they feel the weight of expectations on their shoulder and know there will be consequences in case of failure. Politicians/Civil servants are no different from football managers (with exception of Arsene Wenger). So why should we treat them differently?
Then how do we go about holding leaders accountable? I’ll quote Ory Okolloh, she says ‘Accountability stems from demand’. For starters, we have to have information. We have to go out there and find out what is it these leaders are planning and deciding when they seat at parliament and county assemblies, what resolutions are they passing, what roadside declarations they are proclaiming etc. We also need to be armed with the constitution obviously. Our constitution clearly sets out how elected leaders and public servants should conduct themselves while on duty. The rest is simple, we must speak up against any action which goes against our values as set out in the constitution.
Also Read: The Fallacy of Our Democracy
Already there have been several instances where our newly elected leaders have misbehaved. Remember when MPs demanded their salaries to be raised even before they were sworn in? Did you follow the CEC interviews across the counties and how casually they were being conducted, Baringo? Kiambu? Have you noticed the useless MCA trips abroad season is now upon us? What are you doing about all these? Until now county governments have been getting away with really silly and costly decisions because we as citizens do not pay attention and when such decisions come to light what do we do? We laugh it off as if it is the norm. This has to stop.
How about the central government? The debt crisis? Is it really a crisis? Why are we taking an expensive loan to pay for another loan? Would we do that in our individual capacities? What was all that nonsense of rewarding ‘githeri man’ and friends of friends the highest civilian award?
Why do we continue to pay more for electricity when on the other hand we have wind power available but delays in constructing a transmission line means we have to pay in excess of KES 5B a year as compensation? Didn’t the government know we would need the transmission line?
Have you noticed how the NYS court cases are being dismissed on technicalities? How are you going to convince me that these technicalities were not there for this exact reason? I may be wrong but I do not recall the president condemning police brutality at all, instead he commended them for a job well done. What job? Stoning motorists? Dumping human waste on public grounds? Senseless killing of teenagers, toddlers and babies?
Also Read: Why Kenya’s Democracy is a Century Away
By now I think you have the gist of what I am trying to say, right? Remember, simply voting out the current president or any leader for that matter is not a guarantee that things will change unless we hold them accountable. I will leave you with links to some of the issues I have highlighted for further reading. Hopefully you and I will be in a better position to question our leaders and hold them accountable. Then and only then will we begin to move in the right direction as a people.
- Get to learn about what MPs re talking about in parliament here
- Here’s how our debt situation really looks like