The Illusion of Freedom in the Kenyan Electoral Process

It was back in 2007. The political atmosphere in Moi University, especially main campus, was charged. There was a political argument everyday at the benches between hostels C and D. I was usually part of these arguments. I knew I would be spending my holiday in Eldoret so I decided to register as a voter in Kapsoya Primary. It had to be in town because I was still not sure where in Eldoret I was to spend my holiday.

I woke up early on the material day, boarded a matatu all the way from Kahoya to Kapsoya and patiently waited for my turn to vote. I soon discovered that my name was not on the register when it was my turn to vote. I had my ID, I had my voting card and I could remember that I had gone through every procedure that everyone else had gone through. Still, my name was not on the register.

I could not understand why my name was not on the register and so I went to the highest-ranking ECK official. Around him was a bunch of people whose names were also missing. These people would shout out their names and the ECK official would search for them. I noticed something as the people shouted out their names. My last name is Wanjau… there was Wanjiku, Wangui, Njeri, Kamau among the names shouted.

I knew then that the powers that are were behind the missing names. We were not going to vote. I feel disheartened and discouraged. I reluctantly boarded a matatu back to Kahoya. I never voted in the 2007 General Elections, not because I did not want to but just because my last name is Wanjau. I had done everything by the book but somebody somewhere had some other ideas. Who was I to question a body formed and protected by law? I was just a voter. I was just one man.

I watched the news that day only to discover that Omondi’s, Ochieng’s etc. were not on the ECK electoral register elsewhere in the country. You see my friends, there are none as foolish as those who believe that they are free. The entire electoral process in Kenya is a sham, now and then.

Kenyans are fools. They focus on Keithi Kilonzo instead of focusing on the entire registration process. The reason we will not move forward is that you choose to ignore the right questions. Your focus is on questions that numb the truth. Your questions do not build our country, they only perpetuate the excesses that our leaders cherish and hold dear to their hearts.

Congratulations for your foolishness. Next time your name will be missing and the same fools who practice your foolishness will ignore the right questions. It does not matter whether Keithi Kilonzo is right or wrong. The only thing that matters is if the registration process is beyond reproach and even then, we must question why such a process exists when the greatest measure of validity is the National ID card and/or Passport.

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