Politicians should not insult our intellect

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It is annoying…nay infuriating, to watch some of the MPs on the campaign trail and hear the lies they peddle to ‘Wanjiku’.

On Tuesday as I watched the news, I was appalled to see the low levels to which some of our leaders are willing to stoop in an attempt to sway the public vote against the proposed Constitution.  One of the Mheshimiwas even alleged that the Government could recall all small tracts of land and use them as they see fit.  Another talked of how Kenyans would be made to put up accommodation for their animals, if this constitution was to pass.

Come on now…. who do they take us for?  Why do we allow them to stand up on any dais and insult our intelligence?  You must indulge me when I take this deserved break to rant. 

If this is the same mentality with which they direct our resources, then we are in deep trouble.  In fact, we should now be scrutinising the budgetary allocations under their stewardship with a microscope because their behavior is telling.  Certainly, they can bend the financial conditions and authorisation clauses to accommodate their views, almost beyond elasticity.

To the opponents, I say to you that these spokespeople are doing you a disservice.  If you have pressing legitimate concerns against the draft Constitution, then these should be stated truthfully.  Otherwise, buttering up arguments only goes to show that they do not believe in the convincing power of their reasoning to begin with.

Secondly, my stand is Yes.  But like any reasonable Kenyan, I would wish to be convinced to vote against this draft by way of valid and acceptable arguments.  Do not complain against the draft then tell me to hold off for a couple more months while it is reviewed.  We all know that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.

What the No camp should be giving us is a list of their own proposals countering specific articles and clauses they are against.  For example, if it is the clause on Land Ownership, what is their proposed clause?  Or is their solution not worth mentioning to Kenyans? 

This is a fundamental lesson that we all learn in business school; if you cannot come up with an alternative solution to a problem, then do not complain against the suggested solution.

In my view, we ought to distinguish political ambitions from the Constitution review process.  We have to identify leaders who want to use the referendum process as a platform to progress their personal ambitions and tell them our quest right now is for a new Constitution.

We should also focus our eyes on those who are more concerned about political alignment with 2012 in mind, rather than this once-in-a-lifetime call to service.  We understand that they are politicians at the end of the day, but they shouldn’t allow strategic alignments to overshadow this process.

Looking back, I am reminded of all the money that was spent on numerous retreats in Naivasha.  If by consensus these same MPs agreed on a particular draft, what changed thereafter?  Since we still have the same draft (read, without an insertion stating national Security), we can only assume that it is the parties involved who had a change of heart. 

Here’s something for you to ponder….what motivated these same MPs to change their stance?
On a different note, I am sure I speak on behalf of many Kenyans when I say we do not want to hear any more hate speech. 

I call it that because some of the negative predictions could be fanning the same fires we are trying to avoid. 

In reality, when a leader warns that implementing certain clauses could result in bloodshed, couldn’t their followers misconstrue that to be a call to action should matters not go their way?  I would rather they state what they are unhappy with, and in the same breath send out a call for neighbourly unity.

My work here is done.  Let us not allow ourselves to be taken for fools.  If our Politicians think we are puppets they can manipulate, let us show them once and for all… that we are moved mostly by what they do rather than what they say.  And to quote another African proverb, whoever said that empty drums make the most noise must have had our ‘elite’ group of politicians in mind.

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