As the concluded general election campaigns were at their peak, I met a man running to become a member of parliament who was humble and engaging. When we called him for an interview in our offices, he showed up in person and answered questions in detail and with a lot of enthusiasm. I met the same man again during the ongoing CDF committee elections, but this time he was the Member of Parliament and no longer just a candidate. I decided to approach him for an interview to get his views about the ongoing process, hoping he would respond in the same manner he did the last time when he was campaigning. I was wrong, since after winning the elections, his humbleness seemed to have been replaced with arrogance.
Since we were inside a noisy and poorly lit hall, I requested if we could conduct an interview outside with him, just a few steps away from where he was seated, where there was enough light and no noise, but he turned my request down sighting it wasn’t his problem that I didn’t have lighting equipment. He then went ahead to ask what I wanted to ask him and we went through questions that I had jotted down where dismissed some questions as bullshit and others as irrelevant. My effort to conduct the interview on camera was turned down as well in vain.
I had no other choice but cover the election which had taken me there minus the interview. It started with a civic education from the areas county rep Otieno Cotieno, followed by introduction of the various contestants for men, women and youth representative. There were two men and women representatives and only one youth representative to be elected the irony being the majority of the people in the hall who had turned up to vote were youths. After the introductions of various candidates, the process was moved outdoors where the process was going to be conducted. The popular candidates were surrounded by their supporters who were singing and shouting to show support. Then the election followed using the infamous mlolongo system, whereby the person with the longest queue was declared the winner. The declared winners were jubilant but their opponents were not so pleasant with results disputing that the people announced the winners did not win as they were predetermined before the process took place. They decided to settle their differences in courts where they said they will go to challenge the results.
As I was finishing my coverage, one question left hanging on back of my mind; when the committee members are finally chosen, will they truly represent the needs of the people who put them there, or will they turn out to be arrogant individuals who cannot be approached by people who are not of the same caliber?