Politicians all over the world campaign in poetry whenever they want to bag your votes and rule in prose when they come to power. It is the sad reality in contemporary politics across the globe but worse in our part of the world. They deal in outright lies, corrupt the electoral processes and deliver almost nothing in return when in power. It is unfortunate that with the relatively huge amounts of resources flying around particularly with the inception of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) some 20 years ago and then devolution there is no commensurate development to show for it. People are losing hope fast. However, given that manifestos is all we have to judge aspiring politicians; what they say they will deliver when they come to power; let us go for it. Presentations of manifestos is a positive thing that we should encourage because it appears to be the only way we can hold to account those who will be given the mandate to manage our collective resources after employing them. Politicians and a large section of the elites and opinion leaders from our community think that we do not observe what they say in their manifestos and how well or bad they deliver it. Our people reward or punish according to how good or bad those we elect deliver their promises.That is why, I think, we experience a large turnover of constituency MPs and county leaders. People observe you, analyse how you are managing their resources and give you the verdict at the end of your term however subtle that reward or punishment may appear. Politicians may continue taking people for granted but most of our people do not suffer fools gladly politicians discover albeit too late.
Now in the coming Wajir West by-election, voters have been given one more chance to cast their votes after the courts nullified Hon Ahmed Qolosh’s contested electoral victory. There are 3 main contestants who have put forward their manifestos and what they say they will deliver if elected to office. Here below is what each of the 3 said in their manifesto.
Hon. Ahmed Qolosh
The immediate former constituency member of parliament Mr Ahmed Qolosh said he built new schools, upgraded roads, hospitals and ‘’transparently and adequately disbursed’’ the Constituency Development Fund among the constituents over the last 0ne and half years he was in parliament. Mr Qolosh said he has upgraded Wajir-Isiolo road which connects the constituency to Isiolo through Habaswein. ‘’It was a County road I have upgraded it to a national trunk road. I have also upgraded the Wajir-Marsabit road from a County road to a national trunk road’’ said the MP. “I have opened a new Arbajahan and Garseqof Secondary school. There are 42 primary schools and for each of the 42 primary schools we have constructed a minimum of 2 classrooms’’ Continued the immediate former MP. ‘’We have turned 3 of the secondary schools into model schools where we will upgrade their facilities, employ more teachers and provide coaching and mentorship to improve their performance and compete with national schools in the rest of the country’’ said Mr Qolosh. The former MP said he has used the money from the Equalization funds to expand Cadeybohol, Hadado and Lagboqol hospitals and are in the process of expanding Giriftu, and Arbajahan hospitals. The MP said voters should employ one who can bring the herd back home according to the nomadic tradition. He claims to be that person. He continued that a new political direction is required pointing out that Rift Valley’s leadership mantle has moved from Moi to Ruto and he believes he is a pragmatist who can head the people of Wajir West to the right political direction. He believes he has restored the ‘’integrity’’ of Wajir West politics and the people are with him. Qolosh says his manifesto will include completing these projects and spearheading the politics of the constituency.
Hon Ibrahim Sheikh
Mwalimu Ibrahim Sheikh Mohamud successfully petitioned the election of Mr Qolosh the former immediate MP. He is a graduate of Wajir High School. Says his main ambition of joining politics was to right the wrongs of inequality particularly on the disbursement of Constituency Development Fund. He summarized his manifesto as fighting inequitable distribution of resources. He said he will form committee and will have a representative in every location. He will sit down with the 4 MCAs representing the 4 wards, draw a plan of action and a budget for the county government and the projects that are of priority to his constituents. He said constructing a bridge that separates Bula Qasab from Cadey Masajida will be one of his priorities. He said when it rains people cannot travel between the two villages.
Prof Mohamed Elmi
Professor Mohamed Elmi Yusuf was until recently director of studies for Mount Kenya University Hargeisa Campus. He is a professor of epidemiology, retired army colonel and former Rongo University Chancellor.
Elmi said he is not only a retired Colonel who understands about security issues but also a Professor of Epidemiology and experienced educationist. Saying the level of illiteracy is 87% and education will be one of his priorities. He said the security issues in the West has its bases on politics and fanned by politicians aided by inequality and unfairness. He said addressing these inequalities will adequately bring about peace. He said Kenya has enough police officers and cooperation between the security actors and communities can bring about peace if one has knowledge on security matters. Elmi said he will work on the unity of the people of Wajir West and greater Wajir.
The professor said he will address the alarming rate of maternal mortality in the constituency. He was a health specialist with the ministry of Health and says the region’s maternal mortality rate is 127 per 100 thousand births. Prof Elmi said the measure of the health of a population as per the WHO standard is the death of children and mothers in maternity. Our rate of maternal mortality can only be compared to that of countries like Sierra Leone and Angola that were for many years, war zones said Prof Elmi. He said his knowledge on health will help him address the high rate of maternal mortality in the constituency.
NFD Dispatch calls upon the voters of Wajir West to vote wisely. They should judge the contestants on their record and what they say they will deliver not on what clan one hails from. Clannism has been our biggest impediment to progress as a people. We wish the people of Wajir West a peacful by-election. May the best man win.