By Tabitha Marion
The marvel of all history is the patience in which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments in the name of ‘fear’. It is more like being entangled in a whole thick web of lack of knowledge and living under the mercy of a gnawing conscious that tells you to break free but the question is how? And probably, why?
This is the common factor that has affected change in Mumbetsa, Kakamega. During a baraza at the Church of God Mumbetsa, it was bizarre that from a whole gathering of approximately fifty people, only ten participated in the previous general elections. In addition to that, of the fifty people, 90% of them had their identification cards and voters’ cards that would enable them to vote. That caused a stir, why would they not vote?
The residents of Mumbetsa which is inclusive of students from Mumbetsa County Polytechnic and parents of the children going to Mumbetsa Primary School, raised concerns over some critical issues. The state of the toilet at the primary school is disturbing and one of the parents referred to it as ‘toilets that were used by ancestors’ meaning it is so bad that it poses a threat to the children. The large population of children both from primary and junior school and the fact that it is a public school raises an alarm to the management where the health of the children is at risk. They can easily contract all sorts of diseases considering that most of them walk barefoot. The question still is, why would they not call for a change?
It was also a point of alarm that the County Polytechnic was lamenting over few teaching personnel to educate the students. That is a learning institution with few teaching personnel who are straining to deliver the needed knowledge to the students who pay for the services to be offered in quality and yet receive less of that. In fact, with the rise in the cost of education in terms of fees and buying necessities that each student should have to enable learning, it would only be just if the service provided equaled the finances put in. On the other hand, the primary school and the polytechnic happen to share the same small field for any out-of-class activity, and with the population from both places of learning it ought to be a matter of concern, that there are few learning resources in the institution. And the question arises, why would they not call for a change?
This is the state in most parts of the country Mumbetsa region being a sub-section of it. It may be similar problems, better or worse but the main issue is how we underlay the gravity of the problems and push ourselves to be accommodative to a changeable system. The geniuses of our ruling class, have perfected that, it is their ability to keep a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of the system where the majority prefer to drudge along.
We toil along when we prefer not to vote because we have made ourselves believe that the system chooses its own people and my candidate cannot go through no matter how good. This was the myth the people of Mumbetsa held on to that prevented them from voting. It is a spell cast on the ‘people’ and they fall for it unknowingly, believe it, and live with it. It is not true but the lack of awareness has trapped them.
The desire for change sits within the heart of each resident of Mumbetsa but the fear of power and their security constrains their efforts to work and call for a change. No awareness, and no education on their rights as citizens and how they can speak out to initiate change is the major cause of such ills in the development of institutions and welfare of communities. Siasa Place sure did a splendid task having had to educate the residents on the importance of being part and taking part in the decision made by the government. It is not politics, it is not chaos, it is just being the change and making the change for the wellness of the generations to come.
I hope that there shall be a time when we shall crush in its birth the selfishness that comes along with leadership that dares already to challenge our government to a trial by strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country. To uphold the rights of all people, politicians, and common mwananchi alike, is the wise and good government that the citizens deserve.