WE are excited about a new President and a new National Assembly, come March 2015. We exercised our democratic rights and voted for the parties and presidential candidates of our choice. We stood in long queues, bated our breath under the scorching sun, but in the end, we were able to press the button on those Bombay machines and say, wozala.
Some people were happy and rejoiced in their bright colours till the wee hours of the morning after the results were announced, while others cried foul and felt they were cheated. But be it as it may, where there are winners, there are bound to be losers as well – not everything is fair in love and war as they say.
What to do now? Do we go back to business as usual, like sitting under a tree, smoking a zol all day long and hoping that some miracle will happen in our sorry state that will make the next government bring along manna from heaven? Let me tell you, it’s not going to happen unless we participate in the running of government affairs through voicing our opinions, taking part in public debates, attending parliamentary sessions and just being generally conscious of issues and the happenings in our country.
When you hear people saying, “Ai, eto leave me alone. What politics, politics every day? It’s boring,” you wonder whether when they hear the word politics, all they think about is politicians jumping at each other’s throats in Parliament at every given opportunity.
Many people think that politics is not about them, which is why they distance themselves from issues. Truth be told, politics is essentially about us, the governed people and political activities should revolve around improving people’s well-being.
Apathy towards public debates or giving meaningful contribution is what leads to shock and dismay when people hear about the Constitution being amended or certain laws being added or removed. Every year, there are parliamentary enquiries into different aspects pertaining to the use of public funds, which is open to the general public.
Yet you hardly see people attending such sessions, but when they hear that a law has been passed through Cabinet, everyone just wants to peka-peka left and right.
I am not saying all of us are ignorant, but we give so much vigour when it comes to political campaigning, voting and celebrating, but then you wonder what is the celebration all about when we actually become redundant and feel that when we vote, our work is done and it’s now up to politicians to deliver the goodies.
I have sat in certain conversations, where people avoid you like a mosquito once you start talking about important issues or roll their eyes thinking, “who does she think she is?
She thinks she knows it all.” But when topics like who bewitched who, who is banging who or who is skeef come up, they are just too excited, “Don’t say you heard it from me …”
This also happens on social networks where some people are just too happy to hang others’ laundry on the line, reveal too much of their intimate personal lives or post their semi-naked pictures for attention, but talk of scarcity of land, staggering crime issues or mind-boggling laws in our courts or gender-based violence, then there is this uncomfortable deafening silence until someone says, “Did you hear the latest Gazza song?” As responsible citizens, it’s our duty to ensure that we are not caught off guard. Let’s go into 2015 much wiser.