6pm, Tuesday 8th of August 2017. I sit at the Verandah of Thika Road Mall. I am from the polling station. I have just deliberately spoilt five ballot papers. None of the candidates for the position of Governor, Member of Parliament, Senator, Women Representative and Member of County Assembly managed to convince my vote. So I deliberately wrote ‘Protest’ on those ballot papers instead of simply placing a tick after the face of a preferred candidate.
But I was very keen not to spoil the presidential vote. That I have voted for correctly. Why?
The thing is, my conscience would not allow me to vote merely for the sake of exercising my right. I vote out of conviction. None of the candidates convinced me except for one in the presidential race. He convinced me he is the lesser devil.
Don’t get me wrong, I weep for my five aborted votes. I weep because what choice did I have really between a bimbo running against a bimbo and a suspected criminal running against another? I never even heard of some of the candidates. They were so many. Aren’t we over represented with all those positions? The man who picks everything at a buffet does not really know what he wants.
So I refuse to tick all those boxes. Just because I have a voice does not mean I should exercise it.
A wise man once said for evil to prevail good men must sit back and do nothing. If I was not convinced by the men and women who offered themselves maybe I should have stood as the alternative. This was the thought that was playing on my mind as I was jotting ‘protest’ on those papers. I shouldn’t complain about lack of choice. That made me feel guilty and sad but my conscience still wouldn’t let me tick for the sake of ticking.
I cast my vote at about 4:30 pm and was heading home when I remembered it’s Tuesday. Tuesday is the day Nairobi’s pretentious moneyed class goes for BOGOF pizza. I have never gone for BOGOF pizza because of the horrible queues I have heard about. So I figure being Election Day no one will want to queue to vote and then queue for pizza.
That is how I find myself at Thika Road Mall queuing for pizza. Even on Election Day Nairobians cannot let go of free pizza even after they have queued all morning to vote.
I debate with myself whether to queue or just go and eat elsewhere. I debate with myself because I came alone just like the only candidate who showed up for the 2017 presidential debate. He debated himself. We live in a great country.
Anyway I remember most other places are closed because of fear of the election outcome. So I decide to queue. Yes, I queue to reward myself with a double pizza for a job well done. It is not easy to deliberately spoil five votes. I deserve these two pizzas. Alone. Long live our democracy.