Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CHANGE THROUGH ISSUE ORIENTED POLITICS

BY JOSEPH LISTER NYARINGO,
NEXT MP, BOBASI CONSTITUENCY.
My fellow Kenyans from Bobasi and beyond,
I salute you with profound gratitude happiness and love. I wish to share with you the following message centred on our pursuit for servant leadership for Bobasi through hope, tempered on change. Kenyans worked tirelessly to promulgate a new constitution after many years of waiting patiently and hopefully. We all can see and celebrate the short term impact of the new laws and to be honest, there is blight light at the end of the tunnel for our nation.

In the West, political campaigns are dominated by the candidates’ stand on issues like civil liberties, minority rights, healthcare, security, unemployment, the environment and education. These issues shape the debate and give the voters chance to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate. The candidate, who is more articulate and focused, gets the victory while the one who appears weak and whose plans are not in tandem with majority interests, aspirations and believes, suffers defeat.

In Kenya, the 2012 election fever has hit a crescendo in villages, towns and caf├ęs. Voters are debating heavily on t leadership patterns- individuals the nation will vote to power since we are totally in a different dynamic as a result of power devolution under the new constitution which altered the hierarchical pattern of the Country’s political representation. The voters will be voting for the Country’s chief executive, gubernatorial candidates, Senatorial, MPs and County representatives amongst others.

Besides, many voters do reminisce the horror, catastrophies and social evils, which have dominated our Country since independence. A minority will look back and see a milestone because of the gains they have made on individual capacity, but the bottom-line, Kenya, has continued to be drained, derailed, mismanaged with inept, grandiose manveurs for self-enrichment, corruption and violence all mooted by the ruling elite since we attained independence in 1963.

The disparity between the rich and the poor continues to grow wide and wider. Those who cannot afford a loaf of bread forms the easy prey and target by politicians during the campaigns. These politicians love to operate under this negative adage: “make the people poor and you will dominate and control them, empower them and they will question you and take power away from you”

It’s indeed sad that Kenya has continued to produce millionaires all these years when majority of our people live below a dollar a day. I feel ashamed that those we have been electing bottom- up don’t care to develop a contingency plan to address the rampant problems which have continued to bedevil our nation. From poverty, famine, corruption, rampant insecurity, to increased road carnage, and to the suffering of vulnerable groups in the society, all continue to strangle majority of Kenyans on a daily basis. The people Kenyans have continued to entrust with leadership have failed completely.

As we stride towards the 2012 elections, the best gift Kenyans should offer those who have been given the opportunity to serve and lift our nation from the present degradation but failed is a red card during Election Day. They don’t deserve to be re-elected. Even the new entrants MUST be screened so that people knows what they stand for.

Indeed, if one is given a mandate by the people and fails to think about them, fail to empower them, or articulate their issues as an elected representative, there is no reason why that person should be given the mandate to lead again! A good shepherd MUST love his flock, feed them, water them and provide them with a good shelter.


I have decided to go for MP since a believe it will keep me closer to the people of Bobasi; provide me with the opportunity to put into practice the vision I have for the constituency as well articulating my ideas in Parliament to help the larger Kenya. Remember, it’s not easy to wake up one morning and say you want to be this and that, unless there is a burning desire behind it popularly known as PASSION. This passion is not egoistic or for personal glory, but noble, people driven and primarily lifting humanity. This is the MAJOR reason why I want to become MP so that I can put into practice the desires I have for our people in the political discourse.

We cherish our democracy where voters use the ballot to bring to power the men and women with the capacity to work for the robust future. And if they make a mistake to vote wrong people, they live to suffer for 5 years and even beyond.

Having offered myself as candidate for Bobasi constituency, I will continue to appeal to all voters that in me, they have a candidate, who stands for peace, tranquility and harmony. In me, they will always cherish the humbleness and meekness that dominate my character. I mixes freely with all; treating all with dignity, respect and empathy irrespective of their status in life. They will be proud to have an MP who believes in servant leadership through people empowerment. The reason why I think I can do a good job and I will always repeat this before and after election, is because, I will involve voters when running or managing the affairs of Bobasi constituency. It’s a big mistake or illogical to detach yourself from the people whose problems you want to solve and purport to be working for them.

Mine is a deviation from a one man show which is behind the stagnation of social- economic development not only in Bobasi but the entire Country. As believer in transformed leadership, I want to ask the people of Bobasi to bank on me and trust that I will actively participate in the legislative process to ensure that all issues of Bobasi people are addressed in the national assembly (Parliament) without fear or intimidation. I know I’m not a coward but brave and ready to defend the truth no matter how unpopular it will be to existing establishments. After all, my key interest is and will always be the good of Bobasi, Gusii and Kenya. My background on Trade Unionism speaks volumes on my tenacity especially sticking to the truth despite existing challenges from establishments. You can review it on our website: www.listernyaringo.org.

When voters cast their votes wisely, when they vote in leaders who are mindful and interested in public service and positive change for Kenya; chances are, we will see less of the many impediments and challenges facing us today. The negativities we have experienced and continue to experience like: The Hague trials, the post-election violence which characterize every election, the Wagalla massacre, the injustices, the insecurity in our villages and urban centres, the rampant road carnage, the famine that has reduced some of our people to eat herbs like antelopes, the debilitating learning conditions in our schools and the struggles our farmers face in their efforts to increase production and the graft (corruption) and tribalism which has continued to dominate the Presidencies of the late Kenyatta, Moi and currently Kibaki, will all be things of the past.

A general election is a very important occasion for any nation’s calendar. This is the period when the power of the poorest man or women in Kenya is at par with that of millionaires. This is actually the most beautiful thing about democracy, where citizens exercise their rights to vote in a candidate (s), who will define the fate of a nation not only for 5 years in our situation but also the future. That is why Kenya’s success or failure is pegged on the hands of men and women we elect to manage and control the factors of production. We’re bound to suffer if we misuse the ballot to usher wrong leaders into leadership who lack focus, creativity, management skills, and are hell-bent on pursuing the “self” rather than the collective good.

I want to remind all Bobasi voters in this forum to observe keenly from now to Election Day on leaders whose key motive is to rise politically only for fame, riches, to be heard and seen. Secondly, those who make voters an after-thought after being voted in MUST be rejected through the ballot because we have experienced their leadership incapability and inefficiency. Let us not buy their lies, tricks, sweet talk and fiction. More importantly, constituents who understand how monetary enticement from the incumbent and his predecessor has robbed the people of Bobasi off good leaders for almost 3 decades, should act as the best catalysts to change our people’s mindset so that they START getting in love of a candidate’s issues rather than match boxes, shawls, kensalt or cooking fat or money during the campaigns.

I know we have the capacity to advise those we meet in on a daily basis to ignore leaders who use hand-outs to lure them for a vote since such leaders love to see our people in poverty and deprivation so that they can control, manipulate and dominate them. They know that in the 21st century, socially, economically and academically empowered people are very hard to manipulate and that their moribund ideas are not in tandem with the modern dynamics of life.

As we keep focusing on issues which matter for Bobasi and Kenya, before elections, I want to remind you that this Facebook forum has yielded so much fruit. It has enabled us get committed people on the ground currently helping us to build a support network in the existing polling centres of Bobasi. Although the impending boundaries review which will split Bobasi into two remains an impediment especially on committing people to our campaign, we have continued to involve everybody in whichever side of the hail especially those who are willing. We continue to constantly engage over the phone, private emails and virtual meetings. God willing, we will launch our campaign Manifesto end of this year. I promise to update you each step I’m making because this is not about me but for all of us.

Please, I urge each one of us to play a fractional role in our campaign by pointing out what we need to do, how we need to approach our voters, how to remodel our message to make it flow clearly to the voters. This is the surest way to win the elections so that we can start the long journey of changing Bobasi together. I end with this quote by Abraham Lincoln, “the ballot is stronger than the gun.” Yes we can!
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