When our personal preferences cloud our judgment in voting

Maina Kiai by Maina Kiai
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Chief Justice David Maraga wears his multiple identities proudly. He is a lawyer, a judge, a husband and, most importantly, an Elder within the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church who hails from Nyamira. 

As I understand, an Elder within the SDA church is someone who provides spiritual guidance to the other members — who can step in for the Pastor — and who epitomises the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus Christ.

The SDA Church may not realise, but since September 1, CJ Maraga has been the perfect advertisement for the SDA, for it is clear that it is his faith that gave him the courage and fortitude to do the right thing, when it was easier to maintain status quo, even in the face of glaring illegalities and criminalities in the conduct of the presidential election.

Of course there are other supposedly staunch SDA members in positions of influence and power whose actions and words negate everything the church stands for. 

They are the ones whose arrogance has increased with their positions, bullying the underdogs, and approving police killings.


They are the ones who refuse to take responsibility for their messes, even when it is clear that they have seriously bungled an election, allowed the forging of someone’s password, and introduced fake forms and results.

They think that power on earth is everything. They should turn to Mark 8:36: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet forfeit their soul.”

Like all who do the right thing for the country, as opposed to acting for self and power, CJ Maraga and his colleagues will come in for lots of fire and vilification, for prophets are seldom recognised in their homes, especially when the homes are dominated by hypocrites and Pharisees. This is the path that prophets like Timothy Njoya, Alexander Muge, Henry Okullu, and Wangari Maathai trod, subject to vitriol and attacks.

But like the old prophets, he will need to stay strong, firm and resolute through the coming months, and especially after October 17 when the same IEBC, with the same personnel and systems, is scheduled to take us into another election.


It is not rocket science to expect the October election to be any better than the previous one, unless there are drastic changes, including, and especially, unprecedented transparency and fidelity to the law. 

The level of desperation and hatred spewing from Jubilee tells us that they will do “whatever it takes” to be declared winners again, even if laws, rules and regulations are thrown out the window.

I have been thinking about multiple identities, wondering why some of these identities seem to take a back seat when we vote or voice our political preferences, since I bumped into an old friend a few weeks ago. 

We all have multiple identities, and my friend is a born again Christian, a father, a professional, and a thoroughly decent human being who happens to be from the Gikuyu community.

We discussed why the Christian community of Gikuyu heritage seems to forget their Christianity when they vote and it becomes all about “muthamaki.” This, despite knowing that the issues of exclusion and marginalisation raised by the majority of ethnic communities are real.


They know that corruption — Eurobond, NYS, Mafya House scandals as examples — is sky high and that this regime is perhaps the most disdaining of the Constitution and the rule of law that has ever been.

They know that innocent Kenyans are killed and teargased, even when they protest to defend school playing fields from being grabbed by the “Singhs” in the regime, who also claim to be born again. 

They know that Muslims are targeted with procedures that cast them as second class citizens; they know that poverty is increasing; and they know that the poor are getting poorer.

Yet they understand that the Christian faith is about advocating for the underdog, and including the excluded as Jesus did. And they know that the Bishops, the Reverends and Canons of mainstream churches are mostly Pharisees and hypocrites who Jesus would have driven from the Temple.

How deep can our Christianity be if all these Christian teachings become irrelevant on voting day?


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