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2012 New Year Wishes

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Wananchi, friends, foes and all

This is to wish you the very vest of the coming year 2012.

On my part, I thank all of you that supported us through 2011; our family had a difficult year as we lost our father and you came through. God bless you.

In 2012 our country Kenya will face a major milestone, i.e. holding elections under a new dispensation. The new constitution substantially reconfigures the way power is exercised, with a extensive chunk of this power devolved to counties.

As a people, let’s make 2012 a true year of transition that can assure the realization of the promise of the new constitution.

The constitution, especially Chapter Six gives a strong basis upon which to choose leaders for tomorrow. We know that past leadership has failed in this respect and hence the problems we have as nation. It is upon us we change that. We elect those of the past, we get the same results. And someone is likely to call us insane since doing the same things over and over expecting different results is a mark of insanity!

And that is the reason for my call for a new crop of leadership. This new crop of leaders can do no worse than leaders who have left us where we are. Yet, taking a chance with new leadership offers at least 50% chance that we shall do better as a country.

The new order also calls for deeper engagement of the Kenyan citizen in his/her governance. Today, many a mwananchi watch on the sidelines as those jostling for power lord over them, buy their votes and do what they like once in power. Mwananchi needs to become more proactive and participatory in the process.

Two examples, I would like to offer.

One: a politician would come along in election time, buy the vote, get elected, embezzle CDF money and use the same money to repeat the cycle. And yet, we expect the person to serve us.

My take: we have no business complaining about such a leader that bought their way to power and worked hard to recover their money, even when they may be criminally culpable. Shame on us that we allowed the sale of our votes; shame on us that we allowed the person to embezzle funds on our watch and shame on us that s/he can repeat the process!

The vote is our birthright; we sell it, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Two: we have leaders and good leaders at that, who can make a real difference for our people. Yet, they are not resource-endowed, unlike those that have used corrupt means to enrich themselves. We need to support these people, morally and materially if we really want them to make the difference that we seek.

In advanced democracies citizens get together and rally around a cause and support candidates that would best deal with their cause. We should learn from these successful democracies and that way we can advance the same for our country.

In this respect, our votes should be on the basis of interests, programs and how best to improve the well-being of the people. That should take away ethnic politics and blind loyalty to ethnic warlords. It should

Finally, to our Kenyans in the Diaspora: this is the chance we have been fighting for to make a difference in our nation. For the first time, Kenyans in the Diaspora will have a chance to vote; a vote can make a difference in outcomes in 2012. And we should work to go beyond the vote and exert real influence in determining the outcomes. A key area is to support candidates that are in line with our interests. And in this respect I am hoping that a proposed political action committee in the Diaspora can be the rallying point and also marshal resources we need to make the change we desire.

Have a happy and prosperous 2012.

Matunda Nyanchama



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