When a dog eats your fur­ni­ture, it's not news, right? But a whole MCA?

The East African - - OPINION -

it works. As the tele­vi­sion cam­eras rolled, and zoomed into her fin­ger­tips, we saw a brown spray shoot out of the can­is­ter and we watched as she smiled as if to say she was ready for what­ever and she took a small step for­ward.

Elachi was in other words was dig­ging in her feet, ready for bat­tle. A nom­i­nated Mem­ber of the County As­sem­bly was try­ing to push her way through her. When she could not reach her, she went for Ms Elachi's plush leather seat. Drag­ging it out of the of­fice...

What gang­ster life is this? Is fight­ing now a nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tion to join city pol­i­tics? What hap­pened to speak­ing and us­ing av­enues to re­solve is­sues?

The eye-open­ing bit was what the mem­bers were so upset about. They were mad that the deputy speaker was trav­el­ling on her own. Not shar­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties. It had noth­ing to do with mis­man­age­ment of the of­fice.

Then within the same week, on a pub­lic trans­port ve­hi­cle on a very popular ra­dio show, I hear our Sen­a­tor speak about how the peo­ple should be in­volved. Pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion is im­por­tant. The peo­ple are called to th­ese meet­ings and they do not come. I wish it were that simple. First, how do peo­ple par­tic­i­pate when they do not know what par­tic­i­pa­tion looks like? Peo­ple have been called to a meet­ing and a bud­get is read to them. They have no idea why this is be­ing done or what it even means. They are only there be­cause they heard that they may re­ceive a stipend –for some, just a meal. The meet­ings are ran­domly called and ter­ri­bly ad­ver­tised, mak­ing pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion dif­fi­cult. There are also cases of some of them start­ing so late and tak­ing so long that peo­ple give sub­mis­sions that are not con­sid­ered for lack of time. When we wit­ness the cap­i­tal be­com­ing a re­al­ity show, you have to ask the ques­tion: Is our lead­er­ship chang­ing and is this what they look like now? Peo­ple have been short­changed, we hardly talk about how to build on the Con­sti­tu­tion – there is plenty of room for en­gage­ment but peo­ple do not know how to en­gage. Be­cause the peo­ple are un­aware of the Con­sti­tu­tion, it re­moves their sov­er­eign power to hold lead­ers ac­count­able. Hence lead­ers can get away with such out­ra­geous shenani­gans.

What is the mean­ing of the Con­sti­tu­tion if ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple do not

How do peo­ple par­tic­i­pate when they do not know what par­tic­i­pa­tion looks like? They are called to a meet­ing and a bud­get is read to them. They have no idea why this is be­ing done

ap­ply it be­cause they do not un­der­stand it – it is just a col­lec­tion of words on pa­per? And the peo­ple are not taught how to par­tic­i­pate. Our pres­i­dent did men­tion that the Kenyan peo­ple know enough, so that or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­vide civic ed­u­ca­tion are just wast­ing time.

It is no sur­prise to hear peo­ple jus­tify their lack of aware­ness to, “If so and so has read the con­sti­tu­tion, I do not need to,” fol­low­ing their lead­ers like sheep when those same lead­ers are just as ig­no­rant and worse, have no de­sire to learn. What a democ­racy we live in.

Pic­ture: File

Nairobi County As­sem­bly Speaker Beatrice Elachi.

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