We love to hate them don't we? Those smooth talkers who come to entice us every five years promising us heaven on earth and and end to all our problems if only we give them a vote. Hearing some of them talk you would think every valley would be filled and every mountain made low if only we gave them the chance... Funny that's not peculiar to Kenya, I remember in university one of our lecturers telling us how politicians in Japan pull the same trick when campaigning. Anyway wouldn't blame them for wooing us with sweet words of a better tomorrow, we all want an escape and they offer it and we unwittingly swallow the bait. The campaign period is always very interesting- everybody's an angel, singing funny campaign songs, a lot of hope and euphoria is whipped up. A popular line is change! Change you can see! change you can believe in! etc. Now that's what we call the 'advertising phase' kind of the way dating is referred to as that before marriage. Good they do the dance and we give them the chance to emancipate us from 'slavery'
Now after the elections the real work begins- or does it now. I'm amazed at how quickly in Kenya whenever a proposal for increase in salaries is put forward it passes in record time whereas some other bills have barely enough quorum to pull them through. Increase allowances- yes! Cars- yes! Retreat at some posh hotel- oh yes! Tax their salaries- errr errr. Very interesting but then again if given the power to raise your own salary what would you do? However I wonder sometimes whether if it's only self interest that motivates our politicians, what about service. For instance right now we are on the brink of famine but somehow the priority ends up being how to raise money for the Ocampo six... Anyway their days are numbered 2012 is just around the corner. Let them enjoy what little time they have up there, just hope our eyes have been opened and we'll be welcoming them back home... Then these poly-ticks will stop sucking our hard earned money.
Now now these politicians always have a bag of tricks with them. During campaigns they dish out money for votes- I wonder why people fall for that after all you can still vote against even after taking their money. One of the popular lines is 'I was misquoted' even when is was very clear what they said, remember the 'weka tyre' incident? Guy even had the audacity to say 'weka tyre gari ipite' Our latest circus comes from one who suggested that people living with HIV be quarantined... though in retrospect it looks like the clever work of news editors but then again I could be wrong. I think that the microphone has some magic powers over our politicians as when they grab it they tend to say some very strange things indeed!
It's not only what they say, some have made a habit of diversionary tactics to get the heat off their scandals. Common ones 'money has been pured', 'they are targeting my community' and such like excuses- like the whole community was there doing the crime! Yet somehow it works and their 'people' congregate around them.
Politics is a game of perceptions, there are many tricks that are carried out to pull the wool over our eyes and we will see very many in the coming days, more than ever before as there'll be more seats on offer. However I really pray that we Kenyans may vote in leaders who have a proven record of serving us not those who have a CV full of scandals in which they have been swindling us. Leaders who will be good custodians of the resources and responsibilities given to them. Leaders committed to taking us to the next level in all spheres and break the cycle of poverty, disease and hunger. Leaders who are wise and God fearing who do what is right for the country and are ready to make unpopular decisions to move us forward!
Each and every one of us with a vote has the power to make the choice please lets make a wise one in 2012 and lets us not fall for the poly-tricks that we so often fall for...