Politics matters. Politics is a noble cause.Those words were repeated severally by the treasurer of Britain's Labour Party during the party's conference in Manchester in September 2006.
As I continued taking in those words, I kept thinking, "If only we could really believe that here in Kenya!"
And don't we feel privileged when our political leaders talk of our people in reference to our ethnic group?Whether it's about ethnic clashes, or discrimination in development projects, or selective sackings - we count it an honour to be called our people by our political leaders. This is a card they wield so effectively, they have in this 21st century succeeded in stirring in us ethnic animosity, so we relate with each other largely in terms of the ethnic groups we belong to.
I had a lot of hope that the Christian vote would give our nation a brand new start in next year's elections.But if the wave we are seeing is a valid indication of the way voting patterns will be, then ethnicity will rule the day. It will still be, as it has been in the past, a contest between ethnic groups. Over 80% of those who will vote to renew the contract of the government in power today will do so to protect their government. By the same token, over 80% of those who will vote for an alternative leadership will do so because the current one is not their government. The understanding of being part of the government, or not belonging to the government is determined by whether or not people from our ethnic bloc are key players in the running of government. This is a crying shame for us. But more than shame, it is tragic. I say so this circus that we call politics is likely to keep us playing our ethnic games at the expense of developing our lives. Strange, isn't it, that we don't seem to realize those who set us up against each other are the same ones who close ranks when it comes to voting themselves perks that communicate the message that we should not deceive ourselves that we are in the same league with them?
Not too long ago, a friend of mine (a politician, and he is in the race) told me: Christians in this country are the majority, but they are the minority. That might sound like it is a paradox, but it isn't. In terms of numbers, we definitely hold a clear majority. But in terms of influence, we are the minority. We have spiritual power - you could even say more than one country needs - but economic power, and political power; that we have left to others to order for us.
Some months from now, we will be trooping to the ballot box. Shall we judge our leaders on the basis of merit, or on ethnicity?
Whether you cast your vote for or against the current government, shall it be on the basis of what you think is best for your country now and in generation to come, or shall you do so for your tribe's sake?
Politics matters. Politics is a noble cause. Make a wise choice. God bless Kenya.