KAIKAI'S KICKER: A plea from Kisii market - take a minute to listen to ‘mama mboga’ too
On my kicker this
week, I cede the platform to a group of elders and community leaders from Kisii County
who early this week, made some compelling observations about the ongoing
campaigns for the 2022 elections.
One of the elders that spoke is mzee William Abuga the chairman of the Kisii market consortium who started by saying that watching television news in Kenya is becoming an unbearable exercise.
There’s despair in Mzee Abuga’s face and voice; the campaigns are paining and straining him and by extension the market traders he represents. He says the tone and content of the campaigns especially by presidential aspirants is void of real issues and full of insults and empty rhetoric.
This view is unfortunately replicated in many conversations around the country by Kenyans that still care for civil and substance-oriented campaigns. But Mzee Abuga and his fellow market traders in Kisii are concerned about something else – campaign cash, the money that comes raining whenever politicians hit the campaign trail.
I am certain, Mzee Abuoga is aware that his could be a lost cause already with just over 8 months to the general election. On the money issue, the forces of demand and supply are already dictating the pace and the youth, women groups, boda boda riders have long passed the point of no return; they are prompt on schedule waiting for the next campaign drive-by and the attendant disbursement.
The culture of handouts, facilitation, empowerment or blessings is too deeply engrained and one can only wish Mzee Abuga good luck in his endeavour to address matters from the receiver’s end.
But he makes a moral case against the giver; the politicians splashing the cash that is, in turn, resulting in street brawls between recipients. But it is really a losing battle considering that the politicians have consistently rejected any attempts to regulate campaign funding.
On the substance of election campaigns, there are definitely millions of Kenyans who like Abuga longing for bearable television screens. Abuga’s is a nation crying out for real issues over empty rhetoric and persuasion over insults.
You must have come across too fellow Kenyans, relatives, friends or acquaintances who tell you that it has become nauseating to watch news on Kenyan tv especially anything relating to the 2022 election.
For William Abuga and fellow market traders around Kisii, keep your voices up – let the views of mama mboga and you the baba mbogas be heard too in this noisy campaigns. Keep speaking, the next 8 months depends on your voices.