Quit endless politicking and make the next five years count for Kenyans

Last week this column made the point that our Constitution has helped guide the country through the electioneering process.

It made a call that we should ingrain the culture of exercising our democratic rights to elect our leaders peacefully and quickly and move back to nation-building. That predictability is good for the stability and progress of a country.

In the middle of the week, Queen Elizabeth passed on. The one takeaway for me from her death is the clarity of processes and traditions to be followed, plans that were put in place several years before her death. These events reinforce the argument I made last week.

Therefore, this week must be when we end the 2022 election period and turn the country to the task of nation-building. On Tuesday, William Ruto will be sworn into office to serve the country as the fifth President.

He deserves not just our collective congratulations but also support as he leads the country. The challenges facing the country are huge and it needs all hands on deck to alleviate the challenges.

We have five years before the next electoral session kicks in. It is important that the country makes these years meaningful. This requires that we avoid the normal temptation to politick.

Every election cycle we spend more than half of that period in a campaign frenzy, putting the economy on tenterhooks, thus slowing the pace of progress. A departure from this practice is long overdue.

The political class must recognise that they get elected to serve Kenyans. This requires providing solutions by designing and implementing creative and transformative policies for those in the executive, or by legislating oversight and representation for the legislature.

Citizens’ responsibility is to hold leadership to account under the doctrine of delegating responsibility. On August 9, we all delegated our sovereign power to the elected leaders who have a collective responsibility to use that power in a manner that brings honour to the nation and aligns with the aspirations of Kenyans.

To keep them accountable we have to constantly monitor how they are working for us, the extent to which they are improving our welfare and point out when they attempt to detract from the agreed path.

Achieving these requires clarity and unity of purpose and issue-driven engagement. A starting point is the role of political parties. The Constitution envisages that these are institutions of governance with clear agendas, ideologies and strategies.

The country has had a mixed experience with the process of institutionalisation. We seem to still organise parties around individuals based on the temporary pursuit of electoral conquest.

It is important that the country reflects on the penchant for forming new parties every electoral cycle and instead experiment with strengthening existing parties with a view to having a stable party landscape. It is only with institutionalisation that we can grow our democracy and improve issue-based politics.

The country must also improve its systems so that their predictability and objectivity in decision-making. This way engagement will be less personality-driven and more about issues and rules. It is the route to making the country develop faster and the Kenyan dream nearer.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.