By Daniel Njaga
We need to pull politics away from the streets and funerals to the boardrooms and lecture halls.
As I have always observed, I discussed the ecology of territorial strength. The current set of politics favours demagoguery. Insults, threats, lies, vague promises are issued at public rallies with abandon. In the process, they make media headlines and they trend on social media.
Most leaders wouldn’t want a change from this. It’s their territorial advantage. Because they wouldn’t want to be accountable or to be interrogated. So they prefer a hyperactive and tense political atmosphere that rivets the whole nation until the day of elections.
Mzee Kenyatta held few public meetings. A combination of age, health, and cultural arrogance. But Moi was extreme opposite, holding a public rally every day. Once he traveled overnight from abroad and went ahead to preside over graduation at Egerton University following morning!
This Moi profile filled Kenyans with politics as every day there would be something to talk about. It was combined with Moi’s habit of making frequent appointments and dismissals of the cabinet over the radio. This is the genesis of the mass politicization that defines Kenya.
Listening to the news became a kind of obligation as there must be something important. And whenever there is no politically sensational news, the audience gets bored – “hakuna news.” For same reason, newspapers must have political news on the headlines lest they don’t sell.
If we are to change Kenya, we must start by toning down this politics AND CHANGING the STYLE OF POLITICS. Only the media can do this – for now. Yes, we have some of the best media in Africa, but the obsession with politics is very unhealthy for the nation.
Let Presidential candidates debate policies at forums where they can be interrogated and challenged. About their policies, about the failures and achievements, about their promises.