It has been said that charity must begin at home for it to be genuine. As a proponent of Siasa Mpya I will therefore be spending a lot of time in Tetu Constituency in Nyeri County, sharing the vision of what Siasa Mpya means, to local opinion leaders.
Of course I expect to encounter the interesting conversation that we do not have to think too much about our political way forward because Uhuru Kenyatta will take over and we will be fine. A small group of political operatives believes that all that we should know about the post-Kibaki era, is that Uhuru is best. They also believe that anyone speaking anything apart from this is being disloyal to the Agikuyu;-even if they are suggesting we consider other Kikuyu candidates such as Martha Karua, Paul Muite or Peter Kenneth. Of course to them suggesting we look at Raila as an option is blasphemy!
As far I am concerned these guys are doing Uhuru a lot more harm than good, considering that to be President one needs 50pc plus one of the national vote. In the national vote basket the entire Kikuyu vote is approximately 20pc, and only 67pc of the Kikuyu voters supported Kibaki in 2002; & he still made it to President. I therefore believe that to sell Uhuru as a Kikuyu Presidential candidate nationally, is unwise … but well, it’s their right to package him however they want.
However I am interested in educating the Tetu voter that effective 1st January 2013 public officers work for us, the Kenyan voters; not the other way round. This is very important information for them to have, as they vet aspirants for President, Governor, or Senator, MP, or anyone vying for any County Representative at national or local level.
What I am telling voters in my constituency is that effective August 27, 2010 Kenya’s politics changed from being about ‘who’ you are, to being about ‘what’ you will do for me (the voter(s) who elects you). I am also reminding them that every aspirant, no matter who he is, only has one vote; we also vote through secret ballot. For example my decision on who I will support for President this year is based on the following.
Nationally the 2007 post election violence has taught me a fundamental lesson: that even with a Kikuyu president I can still be attacked by other communities on the basis of tribe. I therefore know that you do not have to be from my tribe to protect me from ethnically instigated violence. What is required is government safeguards to ensure my right to life is respected wherever I might choose to live in Kenya, and whatever my political persuasion might be. This is what I will want to hear from each presidential candidate.
Still on the national level I am also interested in hearing what your government thinks about my right to own property, fixed or movable, anywhere in Kenya. What about impunity;-will your government have ‘sacred cows’? What about creating a Kenyan identity;-how will you invest in nation-hood building?
At county level I am interested in hearing what you have in store for Nyeri County. Youth unemployment is so high that most of my friends sleep in hotels when they visit their rural homes because they are afraid of what the local unemployed and increasingly desperate young people might do them if they sleep in the village. So what will your government do to reduce this, maybe by increasing skill training amongst local youth? Will you invest in additional polytechnics across the county?
What about the small-scale farming that is the back-bone of the county? Does your government intend to increase the income from these businesses such that elderly parents can use some of it to help their grown-up children set themselves up independently? Currently parents are holding on to everything they get, to survive; (whatever state their adult children might be in)
As regards the constituency, I am interested in innovative ideas on how to leverage the unique resources found within. For example Tetu is the home of international personalities like Dedan Kimathi & Wangari Maathai. Are you considering a Dedan Kimathi Memorial site at Karunaini, which could bring in international and local tourists? Have you thought of a Wangari Maathai Memorial Library?
Then there is this road that should join Nyeri and Nyandarua Counties. If it were opened up it would substantially raise trade opportunities between the two counties, as well as make Tetu constituency a transit point to other parts of the Mt Kenya region, as well as the rest of Kenya. This would raise the business opportunities in the constituency and change the current situation where the entire constituency has no petrol station or bank!
This is what Siasa Mpya means to me and the aspirant who understands that their campaign is about me not them is halfway towards getting my vote. What is your list? Please share it with Team Siasa Mpya at [email protected]