Politicians should at the very least be realistic with their promises

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Ella Katiba

Before the current regime came into power, there were chants all over, ‘Freedom is coming’, and when they came to power, the streets were filled with ‘Freedom is here’.

By Ella Katiba, Nairobi

Is it too early to start checking the manifestos? Or is it too early to have expectations? Expectations legitimately created to sway the ‘hustler’ into voting this way and not any other way. Is it too early to count down the 100 days?

Before the current regime came into power, there were chants all over, ‘Freedom is coming’, and when they came to power, the streets were filled with ‘Freedom is here’.

Is the incumbent fighting to feed its ego or to feed the hustler? The reasons for overturning most of these decisions are unknown to us, and we shall not preempt. However, the new directives have proven to be doing more harm than good.

Among the first things that the sitting government did was to overturn a list-long of some things done by the previous government.

 Then begs the question, are we fighting against the previous regime or are we fighting against graft, insecurity, poverty, name it.

 Is the incumbent fighting to feed its ego or to feed the hustler? The reasons for overturning most of these decisions are unknown to us, and we shall not preempt. However, the new directives have proven to be doing more harm than good.

President William Ruto

Take for instance, the dismantling of the DCI’s Flying Squad; barely a month later, thugs, robbers, hooligans are having a free run in our streets.

We have seen rising cases of robbery with violence recently; the very people that the flying squad was trying to counter, not to assume that they were entirely angels themselves.

What freedom then did we expect or ought we to have expected? Just like in law, there is what the law is and what the law ought to be. In this case, I would say that the freedom we expected was that which would ease the economic hardships of the ‘hustler’ so to speak.

This alone has proven that there is a reason why systems are in place and until we do away with them, we shall never quite understand this reason/s.

 We ought not to forget that a state is not defined by how strong or powerful the men or women are, but by the strong systems put in place to create law and order, for which order propagates productivity.

What freedom then did we expect or ought we to have expected? Just like in law, there is what the law is and what the law ought to be. In this case, I would say that the freedom we expected was that which would ease the economic hardships of the ‘hustler’ so to speak.

Instead, and so far, the only freedom we are witnessing is that of allies getting their charges dropped here and others getting positions there.

DP Rigathi Gachagua

I must note, it is not a new phenomenon to have one’s charges dropped for lack of sufficient proof; but having charges of various politicians dropped at the same time without really furnishing reasonable reasons definitely calls for a lot of questions. But we leave it at that.

Over two months later, no much of a change is visible. The price of flour was expected to drop within the first 100 days, now we wait for a year later.

Much of the things the sitting government has done and the decision overturned so far have been met by some malcontent voices among unhappy individuals who think the government is in blatant disregard of the work previously done, disregard of the law and at the very least, that their workability is being grossly interfered with.

Back to expectations, Governor Sakaja assured the city dwellers that it will take barely a month to clear the garbage sitting all over the city.

Over two months later, no much of a change is visible. The price of flour was expected to drop within the first 100 days, now we wait for a year later.

Is there a less offensive word for ‘roadside declarations’? They sure seem like examples of them.

It is only reasonable for politicians to at least manage people’s expectations especially during campaigns. Some manifestos are clearly utopic prima facie.

Rigathi Gachagua - Deputy President

Assuming that they did not do a background check on how to manage a ward, constituency, county and the country at large, then it is prudent that they do that before fixing surreal ideas in their manifestos, to avoid the second hand embarrassment that comes when you realize that management is not a matter of ‘Do this, do that, Now!’

These roadside declarations should be better left in the dustbins, lest they haunt and ruin us. In the words of David Ndii “This is how Moi ruined public institutions, one roadside declaration at a time.”

(From his article, The Era of Roadside Policy Declarations is Back). I would submit that politicians should at the very least be realistic with their promises. We still are banking hope on the government to deliver on its promises.

MS Katiba is a Law student at University of Nairobi

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