Win or lose, presidential election outcome is not worth dying for

A hush has descended on Kenya. Businesses have, many of them, reached a halt, as we wait, now, for the election to happen. And the big question, pencilled in the sand, is just how many people it will kill.

For it is nearly impossible to imagine acceptance by Raila’s supporters if he does not win, any more than Ruto’s supporters will accept a loss either. Yet, they cannot both win, and cannot resolve the race through an alliance.

One of these big bodies of supporters, almost brainwashed with non-stop wall-to-wall media coverage for over a year, is going to have to accept defeat.

Whoever the loser is, they will call the result a fix, and they may be right. After so many irregularities with previous elections, it is hard to see why the fixing would stop this time.

Yet, as supporters get ready to fight over the win or loss ahead, it’s worth, one more time, looking at what they could be dying for. You could argue it makes a massive difference to Kenya who is in power, which tribe, which individual, which clique.

But for most people, most of the time, the reality of life is how good their health is, how much food they have, and whether they can afford home, shelter and education.

Normally, a best-in-class government and leadership could deliver more on that front than a worst-in-class, and each of these massive camps believes their man is the best-in-class.

But, the truth is, there is an extreme limit to what any government can do now, and people put far too much onto the government.

The ‘government should’ approach to problem-solving just isn’t a hopeful track, when the finances aren’t there, and the world is throwing curve balls like global power battles with oil as the weapon, food shortages, and mounting climate problems.

The reality is that how each of us fares from here has a lot more to do with what we take into our own hands – did we plant extra food when the warnings appeared in March flagging food shortages ahead, did we put in solar, wind, water mini-power anywhere when the oil prices started surging last year, and what are we doing as a community, working together, to make our lives better, increase our resilience, and get our children dewormed?

It isn’t surprising people think it’s a life-or-death issue who gets the country’s top seat of power. But the truth is we all have far more power, each of us, over our own lives, and over our communities’ lives, than the new president will ever have. If we only exercised it.

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