Policy vs. Politics

Posted by on 17th March 2011

Categories:   2012 Elections Members of Parliament News

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

To be honest I cannot remember who started the war of words but the clip of the Prime saying this has been replayed on the TV for near two weeks, suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta responded in kind with a verbal volley own. This week, yesterday in fact, Makadara MP Gideon Mbuvi challenged the Prime Minister to a popularity contest in Nairobi. It sounds ludicrous but its true, a popularity contest.

Popularity contest aside, at one point the verbal exchange between the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance Uhuru Kenyatta, Suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga became so bad that the three drew censure from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.

Not only is the political jockeying divisive it is also distracting the public from questioning the substantive policies that have been brought to the table. It is also detracting from implementation of the constitution, establishment of constitutionally mandated bodies i.e. the new boundaries and electoral commission, the Supreme Court and its holding up judicial and police reform.

In fact with regards to the setting up of the independent boundaries and electoral commission, and making election management laws to conduct the eight kinds of polls for central and county governments in 2012, Mutula Kilonzo the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs stated:

‘At the current pace, it will be a very hard task to come up with all these institutions, set in motion the process of vetting and appointing and conduct nationwide civic education about how the new electoral institutions work before the next elections’

The impact of the emphasis political posturing to the detriment of policy is not only felt at the national level but also at constituency level. From the Mzalendo Vox Pops it’s apparent that political posturing and partisan politics is not only detracting from the development at a national level but also at constituency level.

Give us policy not politics, policies are what actually affect the lives of the average citizen. By focusing on policy we can ignore the hype, the negative spin and personality battles that are distracting us from the real issue which is what are our elected officials do to improve the lives of every day Kenyans.