NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – What would make a millionaire who seems to have everything want to vie for a political seat? Why would someone who already has extensive influence in society want to gamble by getting their hands involved with the dirt that is politics? Even the poor are now doing it, but why?
US President Donald Trump had built a business empire in America and is considered one of the richest men in America, and still vied for a political seat.
Despite making a name for himself in sports and having massive influence in the sport, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao vied for a political seat and is currently serving as a senator in Philippines.
There are also the unlikely ones, like Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar who is considered to be one of the wealthiest criminals in history. Escobar vied and was elected as an alternate member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia.
We’ve seen them locally too, men and women who had wealth and influence before getting into politics. So why would such people choose to seek elective positions?
“Power is one of the biggest reasons why people get into politics. It’s the first and foremost reason. This is especially so for rich people who may have attained everything that money can buy but still do not have the amount of power that comes with an elective position,” Professor Macharia Munene a political analyst from the United States International University-Africa (USIU) says.
Protection of wealth
People, especially the rich, seek elective positions to protect their wealth. For them, being friendly with the authorities is no longer enough to protect their hard earned wealth. “When you are in power, you are able to protect your riches in a way that you cannot if you were not in an elective seat,” he adds.
To make a name for themselves
There are people who also seek elective positions for fame and to make a name for themselves. They are not necessarily interested in winning. “There are people who just want to hear that they were in the ballot box. They knew very well they could not win but being among the candidates and the amount of fame they get is satisfying for them.”
Widen their network
The Political analyst also exposes a side of elections that not many people know about, the network that a person may be able to create. “Elections will expose you with the high and mighty in the society. There are people will, therefore, vie to be close to others in the race.”
Elective positions, especially in Kenya, come with a lot of money, be it high salaries and the accompanying allowances. There is a lot the money that is left under your care and also the opportunities to make money that come with the seats.
According to the professor, the heart to help the people is ever hardly the only reason why people seek elective positions, but they wouldn’t let you know that now, would they?