Kenya’s middle class has been previously accused of loudly shouting about the ills bedeviling our political leadership, from the rooftops of social media,then going ahead to forfeit their right to execute the necessary changes in leadership through the ballot. However, come 2017, they will all vote.I will tell you why shortly.
We have been told time and again that, bad leaders are not chosen by bad people who vote; they are always chosen by good people who don’t vote!
Before you start wondering why such a learned and informed group would delegate the all-important onus of choosing leaders to the majority unemployed, and mostly ill-informed lower class of Kenyan citizens, you must appreciate the fact that the folks in middle-class are a busy lot. They literally steer the wheel of this country’s economy. They can’t afford to spend a whole day queuing to vote, when there is lots of work in their in-tray at work!
The swelling Kenyan middle-class constitutes of -fairly to excellently- learned fellows who form the majority of executives and other full-time employees of blue-chip companies, banks, parastatals, industry technicians, doctors, teachers, modern businessmen, media honchos and a majority of civil servants working in various gov’t ministry offices.
In short, if these guys wake up one morning and down their tools, the economy will stop breathing. The government will not transact any business that day.
You should see them driving or commuting to work in the early morning traffic jam, in modern cars and suits and, of course, carrying the latest electronic gadgets.Some of them walk all the way to work!
They, may sometimes swear using the Fu** or Sh** word when running late for work and the traffic seems to be in no hurry, but they all look ambitious and focused. Most of them are never on Facebook; it is littered with so many half-wits and noisemakers. But you will find them on “Twirra”, Instagram and WhatsApp groups (for purposes of connectivity and generating ideas). There is no doubt that they are the brains behind the famous #KOT.
If you don’t know what #KOT is then you will have to forgive me if I may ask you; under which rock did you crawl from this morning? I mean, which bush, within this country, do you reside in?
Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) have gained notoriety the world over for their “take-no-prisoners” approach in tackling issues. Woe unto you if you find yourself on the receiving end of their trending hash-tags, which are mostly “harsh-tags”. If you think I am bluffing Just ask one #DonalTrump or Uncle Bob #Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Not even the multinational Media giant, CNN could withstand the salvos thrown its way by #KOT. Remember the #SomeoneTellCNN hashtag and the ‘hotbed’ saga, then a subsequent apology from CNN? You must then know that #KOT is no child’s play.
The folks in #KOT are witty and thoroughly informed.They attack with the precision of mercenaries. They have mastered the art of condensing a whole story into just 140 characters, but always ensure that their point is home and dry. When they hit you with a 140 character sentence, they always hit below the belt, ensuring it inflicts enough pain to last you months.
Some Twitter bigwigs (Those with over 100k followers) have informers right in the heart of government and they expose the rot in gov’t everyday.
Many a times, the government has been forced to take action, especially against corruption and hate-mongers, after the pressure from #KOT became too much to bear. There is no doubt it is a force to reckon with. There is nowhere to hide from #KOT. They are untouchable and invincible. It may suffice to know that the Kenyan middle-class forms the bulk of #KOT.
Now you know where I am coming from when I say that the influential middle-class will send Jubilee home, before mid-day of the voting day. Here are the reasons why the middle-class will vote almost to a man or woman in 2017.
1. The Jubilee gov’t has hit them where it hurts most; it has invaded their purse!
You see the Kenyan middle class has previously never given a hoot about who came to power, so long as the economy was okay and they were given a conducive environment to make their own money through their side businesses that we fondly refer to as “side hassles.”
These guys also generally love to have fun and lead a good life. That is why they will go for that “ka-loan” to fund their side-hassles, buy that nice car and house or even build their own homes. They also try to save for a holiday in Naivasha or Mombasa, once in a while. However, due to incompetence and blatant corruption, the Jubilee government has pushed our economy into the toilet forcing banks to hike interest rates on loans. A mistake that can never be forgiven by the middle -class.
By the way, if you did not know, the middle name of the Kenyan middle class is “LOANS.” Show me a Kenyan in middle-class who is not servicing a loan and I will show you a big snowball in hell.
How does it feel when you wake up one morning and realize that the 50k you have been paying, through the nose, to service your loan in a bank has risen to over 60k? Just because of an incompetent regime? Trust me, the folks in this group are really hardworking. So they can smell incompetence from several kilometers away. They can’t wait for 2017 to hit back.
2. The Jubilee government has badly mistreated and bullied teachers, as well as doctors since it came to power. The way this government handled the recent teachers’ strike left a bad taste in the mouth. Don’t forget that they form the biggest single block of government employees who speak with one voice. They also have a lot of influence at grass-root level.
Doctors will also be registering their disgust in this gov’t come 2017 since they have continually been tossed between county and national gov’t for far too long.
3. The Jubilee government has consistently tried to gag the media since it came into power. This is perhaps the biggest mistake any regime can make in a country with a robust media as Kenya’s. Trust me the media will be on this government’s case for a while. The main-stream media also finds itself in a situation where it risks being irrelevant if “breaking news” keep on coming from #KOT while it naps. It has to prove to Kenyans that it is playing its watchdog role. But above all, most of the media employees are also agitated middle-class Kenyans.
Given that the middle-class Kenyans cannot be easily swayed by the tribal card that politicians love to play, or the voter bribery craze that suddenly catches our country during elections, it might be just the missing link that we have been waiting for, to bring meaningful reforms through the ballot. Come 2017, the middle-class will send the Jubilee government packing before noon on voting day. Trust me, with the attack on their purse, they will all vote.