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Boycott the referendum?

One of the better commentaries I’ve seen on the constitutional referendum – the process has turned into nothing more than an opportunity to settle old scores and ignore pressing matters facing the country (and resuscitate political careers that were in the dustbin…I mean what the hell are the likes of Henry Kosgei and Musalia Mudavadi doing back in the limelight?)… each day brings on more demagoguery and I shudder to think that the we have to face almost two more months of this nonsense.

An aside: kudos to Maina Kiai and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights for putting the spotlight on the misuse of public funds in the campaign process. It was nice to see the foreign diplomats jumping on the bandwagon rather than being the first to speak out as is typically the case.

4 comments to Boycott the referendum?

  • bankelele

    i am happy so see that Nation have started putting their quorum watch column online.

    However, I must disgree with Prof. Mutua – and if there is an electoral event on Nov. 21, we must vote on it.

    But as you’ve already written earlier, perhaps a compromise/decision will likely be arrived at that may postpone it. Speaking of which, where is Wako?

    I’m happy about the quorum watch too…hope they keep it up and start listing repeat offenders. Here you on the vote, only not sure if it will bring an end to the uncertainty…only the next election cycle (or two!) will resolve that IMHO. Have no clue where Wako is, also wondering where Yash Pal Ghai is

  • Agreed with bankelele. People should vote. But first the hype that causes confusion must be stopped. I think if there is any way for the political circle to be stopped from public campaigns, it should be implemented. Educational rallies from impartial parties with heavy penalties for campaigning for either side should be taken up instead.

    Btw, is the Kenyan media/press undertaking any tasks to educate the public on the constitution and details on what certain changes mean to the general public at all? Radio would sure be an effective way to reach the majority.

    @Mymmoh: the two papers have started a series outlining the major issues in a relatively non-partisan way, but I think a radio campaign conducted by an institution like the CKRC would be more effective. No one has the power to stop the public campaigns and some argue that this is democracy in action ugliness and all (not! in my view), I think the media should just give them a blackout…on the flipside it seems like Kenyans enjoy this political drama and provide an audience for it so we can’t just blame the politicians for all the hullabaloo…I think we like politicking as much as they do despite what we say.

  • @bankelele , but don’t you think the majority of the voters will not know what they are voting on?
    @ mymmoh, that is an idea. Publicizing the changes and how it will impact them. Coz God knows how many people are going to sit down and read all 197 pages of it. People are probably watching which politicians are in the Banana or Orange team (wtf?!!) therefore democracy=null
    @ Kenyan Pundit, do most people seem to have read it and know what they are voting for/against?

    Wituu, my perception is that most people haven’t read it but there are many people who are trying to understand what the issues are (no easy task even for the experts). In my view, reading it in the absence of Bomas and the current constitution doesn’t do anyone much good and at the very least people should have been given the option of picking one of the three. There is also an issue of accessibility since the draft is currently only available in English (although soon to be in Swahili). I think most people know that whatever the politicians are selling them is BS, but unfortunately there is no REAL civic education going on and the body that would have been in the best position to educate folks has been tainted by partisanship.

  • M

    I don’t think a boycott is the way to go either. It would just prolong the utter nonsense we’re going through right now for still some more months. We might as well get it over and done with