Tuesday Vote is a Golden Chance To Midwife A Sustainable and Food Secure Kenya

In these tough eco­nom­ic times, there isn’t much you can buy with Sh100 save for a 2kg pack­et of maize flour after a deal report­ed­ly struck between the Gov­ern­ment and maize millers. The arrange­ment was that all maize with­in the coun­try be nation­al­ized. Accord­ing to maize millers, the avail­able maize is worth 640,000 bales of flour.

Two weeks lat­er, this arrange­ment seems to have fall­en flat in many retail out­lets. They say that they are yet to lay their hands on the sub­si­dized flour. On one hand the Gov­ern­ment is blam­ing unscrupu­lous millers for hoard­ing the cheap maize flour so that they can sell it at a high­er price after the sub­sidy is over. On the oth­er hand, millers are insist­ing on advance pay­ment of the Kshs 8 bil­lion that the sub­sidy depends on. Even more com­pli­cat­ed is the fact that the retail­ers claim that the Gov­ern­ment only con­sid­ered maize held by millers and not stocks that they had already pur­chased at high­er prices which is worth about Kshs 175 million.

Why does this back-and-forth mat­ter two days before the Gen­er­al elections?

Abra­ham Lin­coln the nine­teenth Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent has an answer to this ques­tion, “Elec­tions belong to the peo­ple. It’s their deci­sion. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Cam­paigns belong to politi­cians but elec­tions belong to the people.

We, the peo­ple of Kenya, must now take full respon­si­bil­i­ty of the Tues­day elec­tions. We must hire and fire lest we live with the con­se­quences, includ­ing food prices.

Back to maize flour prices, it’s clear that gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies are sim­ply not sus­tain­able. We must face and address food pro­duc­tion chain in total­i­ty.  A sub­stan­tial per­cent­age of the maize we con­sume local­ly is import­ed. In 2020, Kenya import­ed near­ly 300,000 tons of maize, most­ly from Ugan­da and Tan­za­nia. I chal­lenge the incom­ing admin­is­tra­tion to enact poli­cies that will dras­ti­cal­ly boost local maize pro­duc­tion and con­se­quent­ly lessen the need for expen­sive maize imports.

Here­in lies the pri­ma­ry role of the lead­ers that we shall elect on Tues­day – pol­i­cy­mak­ing. We must shift from the mind­set that pre­dom­i­nant­ly demands ‘devel­op­ment’ from elect­ed lead­ers. Pol­i­cy births devel­op­ment. Elect­ed lead­ers mid­wife this birth. Imag­ine a mid­wife who is unqual­i­fied, who doesn’t know when to pull out the baby or when to cut the umbil­i­cal cord. The baby wouldn’t stand a chance. That is what incom­pe­tent, inef­fec­tive leg­is­la­tors do – they sti­fle great laws from see­ing the light of the day. But before we cast a stone at them, let us remem­ber that they do not elect them­selves. We elect them.

In essence, we the peo­ple are the orig­i­na­tors of the great laws that birth great devel­op­ment. When we elect great lead­ers, they will deliv­er great laws and devel­op­ment will ensue.

On Tues­day, the over­all pros­per­i­ty of Kenya will be in our hands. We must pay atten­tion to all elec­tive posi­tions as opposed to our usu­al obses­sion with the presidency.

As the leader of a polit­i­cal par­ty – the Green Think­ing Action Par­ty – I have wit­nessed an unprece­dent­ed lev­el of elec­toral integri­ty. The Inde­pen­dent Elec­toral and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion seems to be liv­ing up to the inde­pen­dence that the con­sti­tu­tion grant­ed it. Elec­toral integri­ty is how­ev­er not a pre­serve of IEBC. Kenyans togeth­er with the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty must remain vigilant.

More impor­tant­ly, Kenyans must now step out of their homes into the vot­ing booths and cast their votes. After that, they must hold the elect­ed lead­ers ful­ly account­able every sin­gle day of the next five years lest we end up with anoth­er maize cri­sis. Think green, act green.

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

Why August 9th is a Real Date With Our Destiny

1 Comment. Leave new

  • An informed vot­er, elects an informed leader who ele­vates lead­er­ship to an infor­ma­tive level.


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