A long time ago, when dinosaurs walked the face of the earth and Methuselah was still a member of the Njuri Ncheke, Nairobi was known as the place of cool waters and the city under the sun. A place where dreams were nurtured. An oasis of civility in a jungle. That description now forms part of a distant memory. Our city is now starved of humanity and full of nightmares. We are now walking on filth as we jump over manholes. The condensed stench in the city has reached toxic levels as residents choke under its influence. Random fat rodents now roam the Central Business District (CBD) freely. This land is theirs. They are probably plotting a coup in the underground tunnels so that they can take over the city.
The current Governor promised to restore the lost glory of the city. From where I stand, it remains a defiled promise having suffered systematic abuse. I don’t know whether your mind has been made up concerning the next Governor but I know in my gut who I’m going to vote for come 2017. My vote is sealed and marked; tucked away for the man who deserves it. I will walk into that voting booth and without batting an eyelid cast my vote. Not for Sonko and definitely not for Sakaja.
But you ask; Dannish Odongo, does the city experience intense floods when the downpour becomes generous? Yes. Do residents of South Sea (South C) and other unfortunate neighborhoods have to purchase canoes during such trying times instead of cars? Yes. Water-borne diseases torment many people especially in informal settlements, but do I care? Nope. I don’t give a damn. Let everybody die if they have to but my vote is reserved for the man who deserves it.
I don’t care how many buildings collapse as a result of shoddy works and shoddy approvals done in City Hall. I do not care whether a family loses the little household items they own plus their lives when a building put up in wetlands or riparian grounds collapses and kills those poor souls. Heck yes, I do not care.
Whether the cemetery is grabbed and families have nowhere to bury their loved ones or whether we struggle to contain the rampant theft of coffins and other valuables of loved ones in the cemetery. Yes, wetlands are allocated to people illegally as we threaten the ecosystem of the city and the country at large but I still don’t care. Trees are cut down and nobody remembers to plant more as Capitalism’s appetite takes root. When the last tree is cut down and the air polluted, when the last stream poisoned and temperatures soar, that’s when we will realize that we cannot eat money.
Whether everyone suffocates in dust in this city, I will still vote for the man who deserves it. Even when respiratory illnesses increase as clogged nostrils make breathing hard or even when cancer causing toxins are deposited in the atmosphere by road unworthy vehicles, I will still vote for my favorite Governor.
I can see how messed up this city is. I even watched the documentary done by John Namu, of runaway crime meted out on poor hawkers and the untold atrocities that they go through in the hands of the city inspectorate officers. Every evening I still see them harassing hawkers who are mostly women with their children on their backs. Their ruthlessness knows no bound. Who let them in the city to hawk, obstruct legitimate businesses and residents of the city? But you ask, Dannish, don’t you see a considerable increase in the number of flies in this city? What about the unbearable stench? Do you ever stop to think about those who are pregnant, sick or elderly? Yes I know, I have to cover my nose when I walk past some streets and neighborhoods in this city. But I don’t care, actually, I’m indifferent.
What about the transport menace? The city has heavy traffic. Every time you travel in this city, the traffic jam ensures that you aren’t able to have more than one meeting per day. Can something be urgently done to change the situation? Yes. Has it been done? No. I will still vote for the Governor who doesn’t deserve my vote even when I have to endure the loud screams of rogue matatus in this city.
In Kenya, we are good at formulating excellent laws but we dare not implement them. How can we change Kenya yet the majority will still vote with their stomachs and ethnic identities rather than with their heads? Politicians must maintain the status quo. Let the electorate be at a position where they always beg and scramble for the crumbs that fall from the master’s dining table.
I will still have to contend with the lawlessness characterizing city life. I don’t care whether those tasked to keep the traffic flow have lost the passion as the city slowly grows into a jungle and a banana county. I do not care whether marikiti smells like a heap of rotting carcasses.
I don’t care whether alleged corruption is hemorrhaging the revenues collected from us and nobody really cares. I will turn a blind eye to the fact that even though I’m taxed by the county government, the majority of my money is spent on recurrent expenditure which pays salaries of ghost workers. I don’t care whether taxes are increased on parking fees to finance the current expenditure appetite.
My vote is wholeheartedly and without any iota of contradiction, reserved for the incumbent Governor.
I will vote for Kidero because he comes from my tribe and blood is thicker than water. I will vote for Kidero because he is one of us. Yes, I will vote for Kidero because it’s ‘our time to eat.’ I will vote for Kidero because that is how Kenya is. We are drawn to ethnic loyalty more than Nationalism and service delivery. I’m not immune to mtu wetu syndrome.
The day we will care more about a candidate’s service delivery capacity, vision, track record, integrity and not party loyalty, that’s the day Kenya will change.
That day when the scales of blind loyalty to the political class will fall off our eyes and we will vote for leaders based on the depth of their character and not their pockets, that’s when Kenya will change.
Wake up Kenya!
Dannish Odongo works for Capital FM as a columnist and a Digital Media Strategist. He is passionate about leadership, faith, development journalism, and social justice. Follow him on twitter @dannishodongo and like his page: Dannish