By Mambo Matata
Dismissing the passionate pleas by politicians and other stakeholders to register as voters as analogue thinking, Kenyan youth have declared that exercising one’s democratic right is only a phone away.
The young people, according to Impeachable sources, cannot understand why anyone should go all the way to a registration centre, and even worse, to a polling station on election day when they can simply vote on Facebook and on other exciting social media sites.
They accuse their parents, the government and its leaders of being stuck in the dark technological past and asked them to wake up and see the digital light.
“Like why should I waste my precious screen time walking to a registration centre in the neighbourhood, when I can do everything online? On election day I will simply make my choice of leaders on Facebook instead of joining a kilometre-long queue,” said one youth, all the while scrawling through her phone.
Attempts to ask her more questions were curtly declined, her argument being that many important things that were happening online were passing by.
She only had one demand: “The government should buy us data bundles in abundance on election day and we will turn up in large numbers, virtually of course, to vote for our favourite leaders.”
Speaking of bundles, another young would-be voter said the tactics that some the politicians were using in their attempts to convince them to visit voter registration centres had betrayed their archaic thinking.
“Why on earth, for example, would a politician lure young people into registration centres using a mere bottle of soda? All he needed to do to see the youth trooping to the centres in droves was to promise data bundles to anyone who registers as a voter!” he observed.
He also wondered why the youth cannot register and vote online when virtually every political activity related to next year’s election is being carried out on the Internet.
“All the campaigns, propaganda and opinion polling is being done on the Internet. So why are we not allowed to register and vote on Facebook?” posed the incredulous young man, adding that insisting on physical voting was a ploy to ensure power remained in arthritic analogue hands.
Some of the youth interviewed for this piece, however, said it is the responsibility of their parents to vote on their behalf, just as it was their right to be catered for.
They said voting falls in the category of parental responsibilities, just like footing bills, paying school fees and worrying about the future.
Besides, they said, the youth were too busy on their phones and too young to worry their tender heads about adult matters, such as who should hold what position in the country.
“It is my parents’ responsibility to cater for my needs including choosing leaders for me.
In any case, unlike me, they don’t seem to have much to do that’s why they can take half a day queueing at a polling station,” said a young fellow, adding that he will only start voting when he is a parent.
Another youth was even more blunt. “Voting? Duh. That sounds like old people’s issues. And what will my parents do when I vote? Like there is a shortage of Netflix series to be watched,” she said.