Friday, 25 January 2013

Did we Learn From the 1988 Queue-voting?


Someone in Jukistopia said that, if there is anything history has taught us, it is that we learn nothing from history.

 I have jeremiad to all who have cared to listen regarding the coming elections. I have said they will be the worst elections since the 1988 ones. What has shocked me is that, two out of three people ask me what was wrong with the 1988 elections. When I say we voted by queuing behind the agent holding the picture of ones preferred candidate, they ask, What!?
 
Mlolongo voting is what they are popularly called. For those who did not know, the wise men of KANU, most of whom or their sons and daughters are seeking governor and senate seats, decided that there will be KANU elections before the general elections in that year.

Nothing strange about that.

The most transparent voting would be by queuing behind the agent holding the picture of your preferred candidate.

What!?

That wasn’t even the horrible part.

The abhorrent part was, in the queue-voting system KANU HQ was to declare unopposed those receiving 70% vote of the cast ballots.The obnoxious bit was that the list that ended up in Nairobi had a distant resemblance to the one at the school fields.

What a perfect way it was for chujaring (the elections were also called mchujo maeaning to filter or cleanse) the non KANU damu.

The lesson learnt or not learnt depending on where you stand was, to win easily, make sure the voter turnout is as low as possible. Disorganise the process.

For further reading search “Okiki Amayo”, “KANU displinary committee”, “Joseph Kamotho”,  “kanu stalwart”, “Peter Oloo Aringo” party discipline in 1990

on a lighter note because mlolongo and mchujo were being used interchangeably, until recently I thought that the two meant the same thing. I kept on referring to a queue as mchunjo. Panga mchunjo.
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