Sunday, June 13, 2010

South Mugirango, cast your vote with your conviction

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA

The people of South Mugirango should avoid being dragged into succession and referendum politics when they go to the polls in June to elect their next leader after the nullification of the election of the then MP and Trade assistant minister Omingo Magara.

Voters must focus on the qualities of the candidates before they cast their votes and not be swayed by the charged political climate in the Country. After all, they’re electing an MP to address the myriad problems they face in the grassroots and not the President of the Republic of Kenya.

Although clan politics often takes centre stage during elections in Gusiiland, it’s imperative for the voters to disregard it because it has thwarted civil unity in the Community. Voters should remember irrespective of whether a candidate is Omosinange, Omogetenga or Omotabori; they are all citizens of Kenya, and have to be voted based on their values and character.

The MP should be a person who will articulate the people’s interests, aspirations, as well as standing up for the common good of the Abagusii and the entire nation. He or she must be a leader with the desire for public service especially being well versed with challenges that face the constituency. He must be ready to lift the standard of education, infrastructure, agriculture as well as fighting to scale down the consumption of illicit brews that has ruined the lives of young people.

Being induced by cash handouts to influence one’s vote has continued to rob the Abagusii community off good leaders. Many aspirants for leadership are often given a blackout during elections not because they lack leadership qualities but because they don’t bribe the voters. Voters must remember that a one time cash or material inducement cannot change one’s life, community or nation.

Leaders with presidential ambitions who want to capitalize on the national hype that has characterized South Mugirango by elections must be reminded that theirs is not about the love for the constituents but a selfish maneuver to expand their political network through the former ODM party Treasurer, who is defending the seat on a different ticket.

Honourables Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and the Vice President want to use South Mugirango as a specimen in a chemical lab to settle political scores to a well known opponent in their quest for the Presidency. I urge the people to reject this external pressure by casting their votes wisely with their conscience and conviction.

Any acts of lawlessness from the voters during the campaigns despite being treated with the theatrics of a referendum must be avoided. The voters must uphold a democratic culture that accommodates campaign issues and ideas from all candidates in order to make informed choices. It will be unfair to hurt, insult, curse or provoke some one just because of supporting a different candidate.

The people are not looking for an omniscient Member of Parliament, but some one who is down to earth and who will listen to their day to day challenges by providing workable remedies with humbleness and humility all tamped with honest, integrity, selflessness and human love.

The MP should be a person who will conduct the affairs of the constituency with transparency and accountability while upholding servant leadership through dedication, hard work and commitment.

If South Mugirango constituents will adhere to the above when they will go to the polls, they stand a good chance of electing a good MP. These should also apply to other constituencies with impending by elections like, Matuga and Juja.
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