Articles

Not to vote is still to vote, make it count

By Tabitha

“We cannot cry ourselves out of situations; we have to work ourselves out of those situations.” These are the words of Hon. Mudavadi, Prime Cabinet Secretary (PCS), during the KAIICO event in Kakamega.

The validity of this statement is of much significance to the citizens of Kenya, particularly citizens of Kakamega. Owing to the Crying Stone as a tourist attraction site in Kakamega, the PCS made this remark to call people out to reflect on their state and come up with solutions from such a circumstance.

Similarly, if Shinyalu’s resident lifestyle were under scrutiny, it would seem they have chosen to live in a state of lamentation while still hoping for change.

During a community engagement in Isikhu Central, Shinyalu, residents complained about hospitals, roads, access to county funding like bursaries, stalled rescue centres, and many unmentioned things. Everyone wanted to see change. But the change, for them, was anticipated with arms folded. They had compelling reasons against politicians, especially those relaxing on their duties, but no solutions or ways to change that.

Lamenting their displeasure was the only way they thought fit to solve their issues. From a hand raise count on who took part in the last general elections, out of 10 people, only two voted. And with such figures, the residents still wanted to experience real change.

Interestingly, even without voting, residents actively pursued follow-ups and remained informed on their rights, especially what the government was depriving them of, based on the Constitution. Meaning they know their rights, acknowledge their needs, and know what they want for a change. The only step not taken is towards casting the lot on a desired candidate not based on ‘kitu kidogo’ or empty promises, but a leader worth their salt.

It was outstanding when one disabled man confidently professed that their decision not to vote was also to vote. That way, if they chose not to vote, they would keep in office any leader, whether corrupt or not, which was the truth of the matter, and they gave an ear to that.

A person asked, “How do I know if that leader is good?” He continued to claim that people change once they get their desired position.

It is a valid argument. How can you read through goodness in a person, especially if you have not interacted with them away from public grounds? Bob Marley puts it this way, “To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

This is what choosing to vote means. To vote is to risk having a good leader. Or an ignorant leader who will fail to deliver. Why don’t we risk this time and vote? Take the stage and let your decision count.

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