Whoever came up with the expression ‘Politics is a dirty game’ must have been an observer of campus elections. This is because my comrades’ p
rimal nature never shines brighter than when they are electing their next bunch of leaders. During this period, comrades are ever volatile, highly charged, and prone to violent explosions.
Before going any further, let me make it certain that I have no qualms with students’ right to vote—Democracy is imperative. What gets my goat is the inculpable nonsense that passes for campaigns in Kenya’s institutions of higher learning. My old man, Grandpa Richard, describes the entire election fiasco as malignant, corrupt, uncouth, morally distorted and cursed with an evil eye.
I am an environmentalist, and the way these politicians and their dissident sycophants plaster campaign posters left, right and center really chaps my shorts. Placards, banners and leaflets are posted on every spare square inch on campus, causing untold harm to our eye sights. Common sense ideals like disposing a politician’s manifesto into the dustbin (where it
belongs) are not adhered to. The once clean and green environment turns into a garish hoarding, negating everything Wangari Maathai ever fought for.
Tribalism is another anathema that has gripped campus politics. No matter how good your policies seem, there are people who will shy away from voting you in simply because of the accident of birth in a certain group. Some comrades even take the tribalism filth to social media where they spew hateful and abusive vitriol. It’s a sad state of affairs, the kind that will make a patriot cry.
Speaking of crying, I almost shed a tear the other day when I came across a phalanx of comrades in town harassing bodaboda and matatu operators by forcing them to stick campaign posters on their motors. When did we sink this low?
At times I think all it takes for people to vote you in are good looks. If you aren’t easy on the eyes, I suggest you shelve any ambitions of ever being a student leader. Take note to Photoshop your pictures while designing your campaign posters. Do not waste time in formulating policies. Instead, work on getting a set of artificial hips so you can display a geometric figure on the posters.
I wouldn’t finalise my litany without pointing out the foolhardiness of candidates who spend prodigious amounts of cash on the campaign trail. They parade around campus in rented limos and hired buses with a goal of bamboozling the electorate with their affluence. During elections, beer flows like River Tana on campus as aspirants bribe rascal comrades with poisons of their choice. Some of these apirants have god-fathers who fund their campaigns to the tune of millions; stupid ones have applied for youth loans. With such kind of spending, election losers are left servicing the kind of debt usually associated with third world countries.
They’re asinine politicians, these comrades of mine.