A Kenyan Voter’s Memory Is Like That Of A Goldfish


It’s just the other day that our dirty hands led to the total failure of the biometric voter registers during elections. Yes, our dirty  hands almost led us to the repeat of a post-election violence. The same dirty hands that this morning I am either too hungry or too lazy to wash before taking my breakfast. But why waste time yet this single loaf of bread is to be shared among the six of us. We are people who easily forget and move on.

As the elections near, it is  “money minting season” for many voters including my boyfriend. From his understanding, “ni hawa politicians walikua wameficha pesa za campaign”. This excitement is shared by a majority of Kenyans who believe that, with the fast approaching elections, all their financial issues will be sorted as they receive bribes for their votes. Since I am a forgiving person, I hope that come 2017, my boyfriend will not fall for the politician’s trap.

Elections in Kenya come with a lot of promises, just like my boyfriend’s promises, majority of which will never be fulfilled. But they also come with a lot of chamas, many of which remain dormant till the next election. I have never seen my mother, a chairlady in five different chamas, this busy. Today she will be hosting a meeting at home. She insisted that I travel home to help with preparations. A very special guest, acounty assembly aspirant would be visiting today with goodies. It’s only in Kenya where election promises are fulfilled before the election itself. During this period, its women and their chamas who benefit the most from political aspirants and their generosity. Our focus is always on the financial and material gains we can receive but not on electing good leadership.

The day will be long, with lots to do before the guests arrive.  I head towards the kitchen to start preparations for the County Assembly aspirant and think of the long list of promises he will utter today. Politicians no longer surprise me, in the same way a dry tap in our kitchen hasn’t surprised me. Their utterances and actions are not new. It’s the same every election year and it gets worse as the ballot nears. Television talk shows often invite political analysts to dissect the political temperatures and dominate the airwaves with their inclusive opinions . Discussions get more emotive, peppered tribal rhetoric, and after four years of coexisting peacefully we are reminded that we are different.  The familiar tension is setting in once again.

Just like our tap water, election fever comes and goes. One positive thing with us is that we will vote, burn our homes and churches, fight, kill each other, burry our friends and relatives then forget and move on. Your vote is your voice and it would be sad if we let our country go back to the horrors of 2012.

In 2017, remember the happenings of 2012. Do not forget and move on.


This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Serophine Kataka.



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