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EDITORIAL: Elective positions are about making, keeping and breaking the promises.

EDITORIAL: Elective positions are about making, keeping and breaking the promises.
December 6, 2022 Eastern Newspaper

Many politicians break other people’s backs as they climb up their political ladder. Political careers are very expensive and always need a hand to succeed. Politicians use both old and new friends during their campaigns to gain muscles for the political battles in the elections.

The new friends invest heavily in supporting the politicians in return for something in the future like white collar jobs, business support in tendering, financial boost, guaranteed market, appointments in various public institutions, cushioning political threats, etc.

The old friends continue supporting their candidates with the understanding that one day the politician will give back. In most cases, it’s a psychological contract and not written or documented. Based on this trust, the politicians continue to enjoy huge support from different kinds of supporters.

Some may contribute their cash, motor vehicles, time as individuals or/and families, campaign materials, political acumen, influence from powerful offices or institutions, etc. These are debts and obligations to individuals.

The other category of debts includes the promises made during the campaign period. They say a promise is a debt. Politicians have a tendency of promising heavens just to win the hotly contested seats. After winning they are not able to keep all their promises. Those who manage to do more than half of the promises may win the next elections. The cycle of promises continues. Elective positions is about making, keeping, and breaking promises.

The political Investors/supporters are of two types; one, based on spoken needs, and two, based on unspoken needs. Very few tell you what they want when they support you.

The majority support you and think you will be obliged to support them in their hour of need as a way of giving back. Uhuruto government was about, “ kumi yangu, kumi yako basis”, and when Uhuru broke the promise their marriage ended. Hoping the RutoRiggy is having the same contract of “support me now and support you tomorrow”

It seems the late Kenyatta also supported Moi so that later Moi could give back. This is could be why Uhuru was heavily supported by Moi in 2002. Moi didn’t support the most experienced guys like Saitoti and Kibaki because of the political debts carried forward over decades.

Munya was supported by Kiraitu in 2013 and has never paid his political debts. Kiraitu was supported by Linturi in 2017 and he is yet to pay his political debts and obligations. It’s advisable to keep your political debts at manageable levels to reduce political rivalry. The more enemies you have, the more pressure you will have and ultimately higher political rivalry.

Jaramogi Oginga is the one who made the late Kenyatta become the first president of the republic of Kenya. Uhuru was not insane when he suddenly turned against his own. No, he was paying the political debts owed to Jaramogis. Kenyatta felt indebted to this first vice president for a long time. The British colonial government wanted Jaramogi to become the first president but he declined and told them Kenyatta will be our first.

In the USA the same story is witnessed by the way Obama drummed support for Hillary Clinton to pay back the support that Bill Clinton gave when he was campaigning for the top seat. Many say political debts and promises are never settled in full. But if you are a poor payer of political debts, one day you will be rendered politically bankrupt and insolvent.

You may get political barrenness and curse.

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