The election period is approaching fast and Kenyans are getting swallowed into this political season. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on who thinks should take over the next Government. There is a group of people who seem to be left out in this discussion though. The youth.
Yesterday I visited University of Nairobi Chiromo campus and asked a couple of students if they would vote. Most of them were against the idea of voting and I managed to get 5 reasons why most youth do not vote during elections.
Everyone hates long ques whether at the bank or any other place. We have the most impatient youth in our Country and it is not just them. Most Kenyans want easy ways of doing things. According to some students, if the elections could be done in a manner where they would vote from home, then most would participate. Long ques was the first concern, no youth likes waiting in slow lines.
2. Lack of Constitutional Knowledge
Most students have not read the Kenyan Constitution. Voting is a right for every individual who has reached the age of 18 years and has a national identity card. Asking if any of the students I met yesterday had read the constitution, none of them had read it.
According to the students, the Kenyan government and all politicians promise on things they cannot deliver. Failed manifestos lead the youth into getting discouraged into voting in any leader. There is a general view among them that all politicians are the same.
This is a queer conclusion but according to the students I spoke with yesterday, most perceive voting to be a grown-person responsibility. Voting is for old people or those capable of leading the community. Most youth think of themselves as yet to get into ‘adult’ tasks such as voting even though they have national identity cards.
University students are exposed to new forms of community leadership but the general view of a society contradicts with their beliefs. Kenyan politics have been ruled by tribalism and each political movement is associated with a particular group of tribes. This makes it hard for them to vote for their preferred candidate due to pressure from their respective communities.