When you see this title, it looks fashioned to a Kenyan audience, and that is true. Kenyans are the primary target. Nevertheless, a Burkinabe or a Panamanian reading this article is using their time effectively. If you are keen enough—which I’m sure are; only keen people read from this website—the electoral landscape in most countries is not diametrically differentiated. Same challenges, same promises, same results. This is especially in cases of similar economic, social, and religious ideologies.
The 2022 General elections are gone in the Kenyan context, and we are onto another phase altogether. Offices that need to be filled through the electoral process are well-occupied, and those that need appointments are also being filled at the mercy of the government of the day. Those who were surprised with the outcomes–especially the presidential results–have come to terms with the reality, learned the badly needed skill of acceptance, and must be now thronging the work environment chasing the bag. I wish you well, and I hope you don’t forget the bag’s colour and texture so you can know when you finally have it in your hand. Otherwise, you will wait till you come face to face with the hypothetical Min Omollo Kanyunja.
Apart from giving us fresh blood of ambitious leaders hungry for legacy and deliberate in creating a long-lasting impression, every electioneering period should serve as a lesson to every individual. As I sit in my office, spilling my heart out, echoed by the everpresent Cleaver’s ink, I want to applaud the Kenyan people for achieving the learning goals of the past few elections. For instance, the contested 2007-2008 elections taught us the importance of peaceful elections, and we got the lesson well. In 2017, we learned the importance of maintaining a reliable Judiciary with thoughtful men and women committed to upholding the rule of law like the minutemen were committed to taking up arms at a minute’s notice during and immediately before the American Revolution. I may not comment on other preceding years because I want to hear your thoughts on them in the comments section and because my focus is on the fresh memories we are adjusting towards.
So what is there to be learned from the 2022 General Elections? Here is a threefold lesson you shouldn’t forget:
Don’t Put Politics to Heart
People must learn to give politics the right place in the pecking order. Politics is unavoidable because the ruling regime influences how we conduct ourselves in the five years. If they decide they will tax everything, including weddings and even tithes, there is nothing we can do about it. However, there is danger in putting politics to heart. The statistics may tempt you to feel that your preferred candidate is clinching the seat, but you may need psychosocial support when all is said and done. When it comes to politics, deliberately create a huge room for disappointments. Do your democratic duty of voting, then begin preparing yourself for a government of any of the candidates on the list. Free your heart for God, your family, your career, and your hobbies. Woe unto you if you will breathe politics again in 2027. I’m not creating time to comfort those who give politics a space in the emotions and get burnt again.
Campaigns & Work are Two Different Things
Another group of people who will be traumatized are those who expect to see campaign promises being actualized. A politician on a campaign spree is like a man out to seduce a woman. They will do anything they can to help them get what they want. It is so obvious as we see people regretting the potential KES. 6000 or waiting endlessly for the hustlers’ fund. In fact, the hustlers are the same dynasties who are politically correct. When making decisions, think beyond the promises. Think of the things you need that are not included in the manifesto. Think about the character being sanitized by seasonal and spasmodic philanthropy and good grammar. Ask yourself what you can get if the lofty heaven-bound promises are unmet. Before wealth, we need the freedom to share our ideas freely and live our truth without pretending to like someone we don’t like. Don’t be blinded by lofty, rash promises. Treat the campaign as a campaign, and work as work. If someone wants to be elected now, try to assess their character by the person they were a few ago when they had not demonstrated interest in the electoral seat. I’m talking to voters here, but ladies should read this again. They don’t need five years to meet an aspirant, so they must be more careful.
There is God in Heaven
We must learn that there is a God in heaven. You may be in for a shock if you think you can characterize this post based on the appearance of piety that some political class has hitherto manifested. A little background…
You have heard how people imagine political positions are won. There are a lot of cheap and careless talks like, “You cannot beat the sitting regime, political posts are negotiated on a round table,” et. Cetera. But the reality is that God is in charge. Nebuchadnezzar learned it a long time ago, Napoleon Bonaparte learned it in the battle of Waterloo, and we must learn it too. God allowed Adolf Hitler to rule Germany and Iddi Amin to run riot in Uganda, and He will allow whoever He chooses to rule any nation.
It would be theologically unsound to conclude that whoever is in the office bears divine approval and whoever loses bears the displeasure thereof. God allowed the pride-filled Herod to administer Judea, and remember a ruling Pharaoh once asked Moses, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” [Exodus 5:2] Being in the office and divine approval are two different things.
If you are a Christian and trust the Holy scriptures, then you must have read this powerful passage:
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. [Daniel 2: 19-22]
As corrupt as the world may appear, God is still in charge. A clergy may vie for an elective post and lose. A renegade may win. But God is still God, and we are safe to face life with that mantra. It will spare us a lot of heartache and mental stress.