It’s something strange that most people who complain the most about the government and poor policies are the same ones who see no point in voting. What they fail to realize is that their inaction is rewarded by the leadership on display. Anybody who doesn’t vote when eligible to do so has no moral ground to complain about the direction the country is taking.
In working democracies, being a registered voter and going out to vote on the actual election date is revolutionary by itself. Voting, like Abraham Lincoln would say, gives rise to a government of the people, for the people and by the people.
A vote cast out of convictions and betterment of prevailing conditions would go to a leader who listens to the people and acts. This relationship between leaders and citizens definitely brings about good healthcare, food security, secure neighborhoods, employment and a corruption free public service. It is the people through the vote who change nations. Democracy works when the people take charge, when they abandon their roles it degenerates into a deadly monster.
In a country where over 9 million people remain unregistered as voters, we can derive that the people care less about the future of their children and grandchildren. Isn’t it manifestly clear that the future of Kenya is too important to be left to a minority?
Pondering this, is it not surprising that the people to whom the future belongs the most, ironically, are the ones greatly disengaged from it. Here are some statistics. A report by the Aga khan University confirms Kenya as a youthful country with a median age of 19 years. So we can rightly assume that the majority of the over 9 million unregistered voters are youth and off course their partners in marginalization – women.
Time to correct the past wrongs is nigh and we must therefore take up our role as good citizens and define the masterplan of the future. It is important to underline that voting alone can make you one of the planners.
While there are a number of challenges facing key institutions and therefore triggering apathy, the vote have immense powers to change institutions too. The secret is in identifying leaders who matches up our picture of the future. Sincerely, disenfranchising ourselves cannot make things better but worse. Refusing to register as a voter is tantamount to giving up on Kenya and your future, whereas making deliberate bad choices on the ballot box is equivalent to hawking your future at thirty pence.
Currently, the state of the nation isn’t so alluring thus a cloud of despondency. More statistics show that 41 per cent of the youth aged 20-24 live below the poverty line and also majority of the 15-19 year olds at 62%. The frank communication of this figure is that the youth and women especially should re-assess their priorities and resolve to own their future. Good people, politics affects all of life and more reason we should jealously be interested with the governance of Kenya.
We should say a resounding No! (Of course with our votes) to vices that have persistently denied us a good life. We must show that we are tired of losing loved ones to diseases that can be treated. Say No to an education system that doesn’t fulfil our needs. Say enough to institutions that extract the little we have rather than deliver.
The ability of rekindling hope is definitely within our reach. Time is now, to stop the blame game and find how we fit in this equation.
More importantly, civic education is fundamental and IEBC should also up their game in voter education to help Kenyans understand the process. Their staff at the county and constituency levels should be proactive and creative. To find the IEBC office in your constituency see our IEBC Office Locator
Ultimately, your vote stands out as your voice. Take control, register, identify servant leaders and plan to vote. The politicians are getting ready for the elections; the institutions too, will you?