Azimio la Umoja troubles should be a big concern for all Kenyans. As a country, we are better together and that does not mean that we all have to be in government. In fact, even the staunchest supporters of the UDA Government need alternative voices and better still a multiplicity of voices if the promises that made them vote for UDA and Kenya Kwanza are to be fulfilled in the interest of all Kenyans. In most agile democracies the political party in power does some things that are in the interest of the general public, especially with an eye for more mandates to stay in power. However, in many instances, such parties and political formations also have in the ranks overzealous leaders who seek to self-seek and drive their own political agenda that often does not serve public interest.
Even with a vibrant media like we have in Kenya, it does take a strong opposition or alternative voices to have a strong watchdog and sometimes constructive voice that will keep the government on that public interest path. Often, it is not so much about what the media covers as it is about the gravitas of the alternative voices that speak to issues. It is these individuals with public clout that then give what the media covers traction in the public sphere and thrust critical issues in the public sphere as public interest agenda that the government then has to address.
Even the presidents of powerful political parties that form governments understand that within their political party ranks there are ambitious political figures with powerful positions who can only be watched and checked by alternative voices, without which they can serve their own political interest at the expense of both the party in power and the citizenry. Pretty much the same as what most of the leaders in the current regime pulled at the time when they were to deliver on the Jubilee promises and manifesto of 2017.
Therefore, if there are people who mean well for UDA and the strength of the party to deliver and have it big in 2027, they better stick to the president’s call for a vibrant opposition. It is in their interest to tame the leaders in their ranks who are overzealous in their attempt to woe every leader in opposition to join government or frame any unity of purpose between leaders for a common cause as obliteration of opposition.
But even our leaders in Azimio need to take cue from the top leadership. Azimio, just like the name suggests carries with it the aspirations of many Kenyans and its existence and strength is an assurance that even with a powerful regime that is still gloating over a win that still baffles almost half of the voting bloc that supported Azimio and Baba , there is hope that their excesses if ever will not go unchecked.
Statements need to be measured and some few leaders probably need to remind themselves that the 2022 elections were not about them but the course. Where need be some statements and actions need to be militated by the coalition organs. Some of these leaders who speak of what did or did not happen should be reminded that for many Kenyans their wins in different elective posts are not important to Kenyans as the course that Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta intended for Kenyans. A course meant unite Kenyans for a common destiny and shared prosperity. That course is a lot more important than the storm they want to ferment in an ‘alcohol glass.’ The unity of purpose realized in the wake of the formation of Azimio would definitely be squashed if Jubilee pulls out of Azimio and the language of respect and diplomacy is key to maintain the journey to a country that will build on the landmark elections we had in 2022 .
Today, we need a united alternative voice of reason more than ever before. Today we are treated to choreographed parliamentary submissions by legislators whose backgrounds are as far from biotechnology as the moon from Pluto. We therefore can’t have Azimio ferment a storm that will blow the aspirations of the many Kenyans who believe in the course. Biotechnology and the GMO debate as a solution to food insecurities does not need political speak. If anything, these politicians have held contradictory positions in the past and it is not so much about what they say today as it is about science and empirical data and choice. You see, the issue of GMO is not whether to accept GMO in the country or not. The issue is how to regulate it and this is not a function of political expediency. As politicians wax lyrical about new found knowledge in biotechnology, the hustler who overwhelmingly voted for the current regime is struggling to pay electricity, will have to contend with high school fees after the festive seasons and need I say that even in one year the cost of goods will not come down. Things will be more expensive, just like in most emerging economies, prices do not go down; it is the factors of productions to help the citizenry make more money to contend with growth. But then, with the opulence we see in the people who won power we will witness the consequences of the disillusionment of the real hustler. A friend of mine who works in one of the local supermarkets tells me that things are so bad that despite the availability of unga on the shelfs, the product is not moving because most Kenyans just don’t have the purchasing power. But while farmers are harvesting soon, we are shipping in GMO maize to flood a market already flooded with people who are struggling. Farmers will be hardest hit, the local purchasing power will further diminish because instead of paying our local farmers, importation will serve the interest of farmers in the exporting country, but certainly disrupt both our supply chain and flow of money among the very hustlers.