Let’s shield other aspects of our life from this endless streak of politics
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; email@example.com