So. Looks like things are hotting up as we enter the last lap of the election derby. I admit I am behind the times: the last thing I remember watching with any interest was Tido Mhando (headman of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation) having an earnest conversation with James Mbatia who was explaining why he didn't run for President. Mr. Mbatia was unconvincing and frankly, I will say it publicly: you should have run, sir.
I could talk about the flare-ups here and there, the rumours, the tensions, the crimes, the anticipated opposition auto-phaging. But elections are like a souffle: don't whip the batter too hard or the final product will not rise. And if you take it out too early, it'll collapse. Enough said.
The World's Best Housekeeper cornered me today. She was right, we do have some decisions to make about the candidates. I told her frankly: I don't know yet who I will vote for President, and I will throw the dice on the Councillor too. But I know who my Member of Parliament is going to be, and you can bet your ass that if you live in Kawe I'll tell you to vote for that candidate too. Chema chajiuza.
Now, to the serious business: we've got our citizen reporting work cut out for us, folks. I told you already that Vijana FM are running an election monitoring online tool based on the Ushahidi platform. Well, Hivos is also running one from Kenya with a little help from local partners.
To be clear: VijanaFM= local, Ushahidi platform, NOT sms enabled. Hivos project= based in Nairobi, Ushahidi platform, Sms enabled. They are doing an info-sharing collabo so you don't have to fret which one to embrace. Neither platform cares which language you report in as long as you report. Wait, I retract that: Kiswahili na Kiingereza tu kwa tovuti zote mbili tusije tukaanza kuripoti kwa kilugha tukashindwa kusikika.
Since it's voting week, some necessary statements: Please excuse the mixed languages, but this is a time for me to get FUBU, if you know what I mean. The Mikocheni Report declares its independence from party interference. I have accepted no gifts or bribes for content. I have accepted no commissions for election "communication" work. I do not belong to any party. I intend to give The Establishment a beady eye during the elections, and I intend to give the same beady eye to any shenanigan-instigating fools that I may witness in my vicinity. I promise to be receptive to accountability questions in the coming week. And I ask you, mwenyenchi mwenzangu: piga kura. Piga kura yako. Piga kura kwa uhuru.
It's your country. Vote like you own it.