As the nation gears up for the next highly anticipated landmark General elections, it is now emerging that challenges facing the electoral landscape have led to absence of a single and coherent theme
for the polls.

Setting up a credible and an all-galvanizing theme around which campaigns should revolve is critical in determining leaders to be elected, but as things stand out now, the nation lacks a coherent theme for the General elections slated for March next year.

This is stipulated in the latest report released mid last month by the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR).

The report has raised a red flag that failure to ensure a credible theme or evolve the main question around which to organize the elections may result in choosing of leaders purely on account of parochial considerations.

The report has further gone ahead to warn that, the lack of the polls theme will hatch a poor agenda for the in-coming new government.

The country will be going into a transitional election with power changing hands from a retiring Head of State reflecting the fact that, it will be held under a new Constitution that was passed two years ago.

The polls according to statistics indicate that, is billed to be one of the biggest globally with six elective posts instead of the previous three and voters are expected to take between 6 to 15 minutes at the polling booth.

Effective implementation of the new Constitution has so far emerged as an important theme and active drive force towards free and fair elections. However, other issues competing for national attention appear to be replacing it.

“To evolve a better reform programme for the next government, it is important to create a formidable reform message as a platform on which the next bunch of leaders will be elected to move the country
forward,” reads the report compiled by South Consulting.

The report is out of the 13th review meeting on the status of implementation of the KNDR agreements with a focus on elections by the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities whose chair is former UN Secretary-General and Kenya’s Chief mediator Koffi Annan.

South Consulting is the research firm designated by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities to undertake independent monitoring and evaluating of reforms.

Currently, there are two main issues competing to engage as the main issues competing to engage as the main election theme, one being reforms with a cross-section of politicians initiating reformists to
lead the nation. The second is ‘generational change politics,’ whereby some politicians are uniting to come up with a fresh crop of leaders. This is argued by the KNDR report.

With this report out, it should act as a wakening call to all politicians that instead of criss-crossing the nation campaigning they should also set up measures on how the nation will steer to socio-economic development when the next government comes in.

They should not just dwell on developing their manifestos to look attractive to Kenyans but also make sure they stick to their promises once they ascend to power.


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