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Is it Time we Revisited Voting Rights?

Perhaps it is time to rethink the voting rights. In countries like Kenya where elections have been regularized, there is an enthusiasm about voting. However, the excitement that comes with voting rights seems to have no connection with the requisite knowledge of the significance of the vote. Methinks many a people do not yet understand leave a lone fully appreciate the meaning of the vote. It’s been reduced to a mere cycle; something that happens after 5 years. Our President says “Wakenya wanajua kupiga kura” (Kenyans know how to vote) hence do not need civic education.  I disagree with my President and vigorously so. Kenyans do not know how to vote. That is, of course, if voting is to be understood for what it is or should be. What many Kenyans know, in my arrogant opinion, is how to push a ballot paper through an opening on top of a ballot box. Period! They do that work pretty well, since majority of Kenyans are mere voting robots who understand not a thing on the implication of their vote and its transformative as well as damaging power. After all, why would we have the sickly and elderly dragged to the polling stations to cast a vote? Because it is a do or die!

If indeed majority of Kenyans understood the power of the vote; they would not be victims of the people they elect; they would not be held captive by their own decisions; they would not be slaves in their own land; they would not be licking boots of their elected leaders in search of public goods; they would not be clapping for their governments when those governments do what they exist for; they would be demanding better services; they would take charge of the public affairs of their own country including casting the corrupt to oblivion. Most Kenyans do exactly the opposite.

My friend told me of an incident where a woman in his village said she will be re-electing her member of parliament because the “Honorable man” bought a geometrical set for her son! It sounds crazy? No. It should not, because in Kenya, few millions parade themselves to receive underwears and caps and T-Shirts and go straight to vote people who give them one kilogram of sugar. When a vote is exchanged with a piece of underwear, surely there must be a problem.

Do Kenyans know how to vote? No, they do not. Perhaps, it is time we started asking if indeed some people were ripe for voting rights. Perhaps we should have collegiate voting, where we can have few conscientious mortals who vote on behalf of the masses? Why have millions of votes cast whose casters know not a thing about why they cast their votes in the first place? The contrarian in me tells me that whereas there is excitement about voting rights; we may have gone terribly wrong by allowing the same rights the people who do not have the capacity to enjoy those rights. Allowing people who do not understand why they vote and the significant of the vote to keep voting is to lack careful imagination. 
Is it Time we Revisited Voting Rights? Is it Time we Revisited Voting Rights? Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on April 19, 2017 Rating: 5

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