Let’s shield other as­pects of our life from this end­less streak of pol­i­tics

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SUNDAY REVIEW -

As a na­tion we have made quite some progress in var­i­ous fields of en­deav­our over the last 53 years of in­de­pen­dence. Po­lit­i­cally, af­ter the first thirty-nine years of dic­ta­tor­ship a ma­jor shift came

– not with­out sac­ri­fices and suf­fer­ing – as we man­aged to es­tab­lish a mul­ti­party democ­racy. Events con­spired to a point where seven years ago we were able to pro­mul­gate our own home made Con­sti­tu­tion. This way we were able to es­tab­lish in­de­pen­dent in­sti­tu­tions like the Ju­di­ciary and other con­sti­tu­tional com­mis­sions. On lis­ten­ing to some of the politi­cians talk, one won­ders whether all of us truly be­lieve in that in­de­pen­dence.

Talk­ing about pol­i­tics, this year has been a truly po­lit­i­cal one. Since it be­gan to where we are to­day, it is as if we have been in one long cam­paign pe­riod. That pe­riod would have ended af­ter the Au­gust 8 elec­tions but we were given an ex­ten­sion by the Supreme Court as a re­sult of which the an­guish of po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns re­sumed. The big ques­tion is what the con­se­quences of this long pe­riod of pol­i­tick­ing and all the dy­nam­ics therein. Which­ever way one looks at it, what­ever side of the pol­i­tics they sup­port, this pro­longed pol­i­tick­ing is not good for our econ­omy among other things.

Since pol­i­tics is ap­par­ently an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of na­tional life, there has to be a way in which it is or­dered in such a man­ner as not to hurt other fac­tors of our ex­is­tence. I dare say there is a lot that needs to be done in terms of leg­is­la­tion among other things, so that raw pol­i­tics does not over­ride ev­ery other as­pect of our life. One has to be con­cerned when we are told that the Nairobi Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change has lost Sh120 bil­lion dur­ing this pe­riod.

If pol­i­tics is this ex­pen­sive then we may have to think se­ri­ously about whether or not our po­lit­i­cal cul­ture is right or wrong. One might want to ask the ques­tion as to who will pay for all the losses that the coun­try has ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing this pro­longed po­lit­i­cal car­ni­val. There is also the ques­tion as to whether there was any con­nec­tion be­tween the pol­i­tics and the other neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences like strikes that we have ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing the course of this year and which dis­rupted quite a num­ber of things.

We have an obli­ga­tion and a chal­lenge to con­tinue build­ing an in­te­grated, bal­anced so­cio-eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal cul­ture that does not ex­ag­ger­ate some as­pects at the ex­pense of other di­men­sions of na­tional life. There will be dif­fer­ing po­lit­i­cal per­spec­tives but Kenya will al­ways be home to all of us.

DOMINIC WAMUGUNDA One has to be con­cerned when we are told that the Nairobi Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change has lost Sh120 bil­lion dur­ing this pe­riod.”

Writer is Dean of Stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Nairobi; wa­mu­gun­daw@uonbi.ac.ke

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