Sunday, November 11, 2012

Call to Action in Supporting Youth Election as Members of the County Assemblies

Good People --

The Country is headed to the next general election. Allot of heat is expected in various elective positions. Allot of debate has been generated on the Presidency, Governorship, Senatorial Positions and Parliamentary Seats.

Very little is being said about County Assembly Seats. That is where NYSA and other like minded organizations have begun to hold discussions and encouraging the youth to focus their energies on.

By the end of the election in 2013, we shall have a strong 1,450 Members of County Assemblies, 290 MP's, 47 Women Representatives, 47 Senators, 47 Governors and their Deputies, 1 President and Deputy President.

While it is encouraged that young people should seek office in all the positions, we contend that the Members of the County Assembly will hold a lot of responsibility given the new structure of Governance.

Allot has been said about a revolution representing the over 72% of the Kenyan Population. Indeed allot is being said about the people who will decide the destiny of Kenya. If the statistics of the last general election are anything to go by, more than 70% of all registered voters were aged between 18 and 35.

Skeptics are at it again saying that as has been tradition, the youth will be used and dumped by politicians in this coming election. The political campaigning has already shown that it is the politics of money that will play a critical role in the 2013 election. The Naysayers are saying that the youth make allot of noise in the campaigns and will not turn out to vote.

Today we are convinced that the Youth will play a major role on who becomes the President of Kenya. The same applies to the other elective positions. But how will the youth begin to shape the development agenda for Kenya in the next 5 years?

Our political participation is critical in the coming election.
We are calling on all young Kenyans aged between 18 and 35 to turn out in large numbers, register as voters and make sure we elect responsible leaders who will be able to steer Kenya into new heights of development - A vision beyond 2030.

We are encouraging young Kenyans to begin to create community action cells based on their local structures. We would like to see the emergence of
  1. Volunteers taking Civic Education to every one in their neighborhoods.
  2. Undertaking door to door Political Education of the new system of governance
  3. Using text messages to ensure fellow young people are engaged in the process
  4. Contributing the little you can to the campaigns of fellow youth.
  5. We need to build a campaign that is unparalleled to the usual "Big Man - Big Money Campaign" we are used to.
  6. Let us elect young capable Leaders beginning by sweeping 100% of the County Representative Seats.

The Members of the County Assembly are charged by the responsibility of
  1. Represents the ward
  2. Member of the County Assembly charged with legislating all decisions of the County
  3. Monitoring of the County Executive
By all means the County Assembly representative requires a smaller voter number and as such is easy to mobilize and organize with the power that the youth have of harnessing Mobile Telephony, Social Media and New Media and Community organizing.

We estimate that out of the 18 Million voters that the IEBC is targeting for registration, 15 Million will be youth.

Our call to action is based on the fact that the Youth in their millions will take responsibility for the new Kenya. That if we qualify to be called Young Accountable Leaders, we are the most powerful force to take ownership of a historic political process as a generation.

The Obama for America Movement showed that grassroots organizing and small donations are not only the right way to win, but also the most effective way to pass a political message.

Together we must remember that future generations will be judging us based on the actions we take in this election as a generation. We must take the lead, create the necessary revolution that will deliver the presidency of Kenya to a young person come 2017. That revolution begins with the County Assemblies as a basic unit of governance in the new dispensation.

Let us support each other and make sure we take our country back from impunious forces.

It is possible for the young people to realize a new Kenya.

More information to come on how "You can steer that revolution"


Emmanuel Dennis
National Youth Sector Alliance

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