My Vote! My Right! (blah…blah…)

” Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
-Winston S. Churchill


April Fools’ Day. Hey! Wait up. Please don’t leave. If someone woke you up on the above said day with a proposition, you would be slow to accept it? Right. Now, imagine being asked to carry out your democratic right on that day. Weird? (Eye roll…tongues clicking…sinister laughs. All are justified reactions).

On a serious note, I got to witness elections. The euphoria that was in the air was almost sickening. You could see it in how people walked and feel it in how they spoke. They were expectant. They wanted change. The build up to the election day was anything but grandiose. The old dogs (pardon my language) were in a struggle to maintain their power. The new kids on the blocks were out to get them.

You have probably also participated in an election. You would be mistaken to assume they are the same. On the election day, bright and early, we were all woken up to banging doors and whistle blowing. A call to all and sundry to go and vote.

Despite the biting cold people got up excitedly. You would think they were headed to the promised land. We all line up. Some pushing and shoving. A few terse statements were exchanged between supporters. Last minute efforts to get new followers were also in play.

Moments later. Hours later for the really patient ones. Votes were cast. Fifth fingers were marked. Joy. A mark of honor. A civic duty carried out. A right exercised. Victory dance rehearsals begun in anticipation (Yeaayyy!!!!).

Hold up. There is a catch. I was torn right down in the middle. I had this hollow feeling within me. I felt dirty. That feeling you get when you have committed a sin. I was apprehensive. What had I done? Could I take it back? Was it wrong for me to have cast a vote? Oh Lord, will you save my soul?

Our leaders are rotten to the core. They are willing to do anything to get to power. Some are even willing to sell their souls to the devil. They will go that far. I recalled a conversation I overheard of one the aspirants have on his phone, “Usiku yote nimekua nikiongea na msee wa election committee na ameniambia kila kitu iko sawa…usisahau vile tuliongea,”  (I have been speaking with an official of the election committee and he has assured me that everything is okay…don’t forget what we talked about). My heart knotted in anguish. Is this the crop of leaders I just elected? What will their main mandate be once in office? Representing me or paying their dues?

The corruption is anything but rampant. Today it is possible to take corruption stories to the bank. The dogs already had us along time ago. The mismanagement is everywhere. The stench of their irresponsibility is nauseating.

Who is to blame? Are the leaders solely to blame? Are we the people also to blame? Yes. The people are hungry. No. They don’t need bribes to buy food. They are hungry mentally. They need to be fed. Are their leaders ready to feed them? Let them take a cue from the savior. He fed people first before teaching them his ideologies. The people are currently on the wrong diet. All they are fed on is cheap propaganda and petty politics.

I looked to the skies. Dark clouds. No sign of better days. Should I run and wash my hands like Pilate did?

Who is fooling who?

Teiya Oloilole


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