What do the People’s Shujaaz Awards represent?

Posted by on 3rd December 2014

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The word honorable is a title indicating eminence or distinction. A person holding the title is therefore supposed to be revered especially through actions. This however is not the case with regard to many elected representatives. Some of their behavior in public forums brings into question the judgment of the voters who elected them.

Even so, there are certainly some representatives who work hard for the public. Sometimes the impact of their work may not be immediately visible, but inside the house their comments inspire confidence in the institution of Parliament and actually safeguard public interest.

Every effort must be put in place to make Kenya safer but no effort can surmount providing the basic needs of food, shelter, education, clean water and good healthcare system to the people. Employment opportunities enable a person to provide these and without it, crime increases.

This core, of human life therefore when being worked on should be highlighted and appreciated. The People’s Shujaaz Awards are meant to do just that. The Awards to spotlight the Parliamentarians that have made game-changing contributions in the House on issues of great public interest.

Shujaaz is the street Swahili equivalent of ‘heroes.’ In a Parliament where allegedly greed, personal business interests and corruption rule the day, Parliamentarians who go ahead to walk the talk and make the life of the public better should be celebrated.

Availing information on Parliamentarians and the contributions they made on the issues is the first reason behind the awards. Most of the time, Kenyans bash politicians and there is a risk that we may dismiss or fail to encourage those who are actually representing their interests.

Kenyans need to develop an interest in what goes on in Parliament. They should know what they send politicians to Parliament do on a daily basis. While this information is largely public, many either do not know how to get it or are totally unaware.

Their fellow Parliamentarians should also be challenged by seeing their colleagues taking a deeper interest in the affairs of the public. They should know that Kenyans are watching their performance and assess their own Parliamentary contributions. This should also challenge those who shy away from talking in Parliament to feel confident enough that so long as their focus is of public interest, Kenyans will appreciate.

Every year on Jamhuri day, the President always honors various Kenyans who have excelled in their work. Until this year when Kenyans were asked to nominate them, the process remained opaque. Some nominees seem to benefit merely by the office they hold and not substance of their work. People’s Shujaaz Awards seek to propose a different way of rewarding Kenyans who deserve these lifelong awards.

It is a win-win initiative for Kenyans in different spheres. Please go to the website www.mzalendo.com to exercise your right to choose the Parliamentarians who deserve to win. Let us embrace positivity in public affairs as it is not all gloomy.