Citizens must stand up for their rights

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Mahatma Gandhi once said that strength does not come from physical capacity but from an indomitable will. I believe in this case the will to do the necessary or what’s required.  This got me thinking and I wondered if at all Kenyans have the will to voice their opinions or exercise their rights as stipulated in the new Constitution.

I say this in reference to the continuous increment of fuel prices, parking and operational fees by the local council and a rise in counterfeit goods just to name a few.

I am alarmed at the rate at which the fuel prices keep increasing yet there is not much complaint from the citizens as a bloc except in the confines of their homes. You need to realise that at the end of the day, these increments end up making life difficult particularly for the common mwananchi.

Their means of public transport are subjected to those prices and in return inconvenience them with the ridiculous transport costs not to mention on consumer goods as well.

Additionally, many of us fall prey to shoddy services when we go to restaurants but fail to demand for proper service due to the perception we have (that things cannot change) or because we are ‘busy’ and do not have time to raise concerns.

You need to realise that if you cannot raise the issue at this level, then clearly you should not expect it to be raised or anything to be done at a larger level.

When Kenyans voted for the new Constitution, I doubt that many read it to detail and understood their rights as laid down in the document.

I say this because you seem to have forgotten that the new Constitution has given you the power as consumers and citizens of this country to access quality goods and services as well as information necessary that enables you to gain full benefit from these goods and services.

Article 46 for example clearly outlines the rights you have as a consumer but how many are actually taking advantage of this?

The local authorities need to understand that we have moved from a time of authoritarian rule where things would be imposed on the citizens of this country, to democratic rule where the new Constitution gives more power to the people to express their discomfort concerning such issues.

Fear no longer enslaves us and it is your responsibility as a citizen to take advantage of these opportunities and use them to improve your livelihoods and that of others.

Therefore I ask, what seems to be the problem? Aren’t there leaders without titles among the people who are able to bring them together and challenge unjust decisions being made and shoved down their throats?

As citizens of this country take the initiative, support each other and make use of the opportunities that you have to ensure a better future and livelihood for yourself and that of your children. The power is now in your hands, you just need to know how to use it.

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