Call Me "Sister" - Agnes Awuor
Growing up in a family where we were allowed to be who we want to be has made me believe then and I still believe that education is the source that nurtures the freedoms we enjoy in all aspects of our lives. I firmly believe that the single most important predicator of a person’s development as she faces unique challenges in being culturally and intellectually responsive and chatting the way forward. I want to ensure that all people in Siaya and Kenya in general regardless of race, gender, disabilities, or economic circumstances would have access to schools of excellence that continually change and adapt in response to the needs of both students and society. My greatest disappointment has been that, in spite of the work of many people, the nation has not reached its six education goals set since independence. However, I am hopeful that they can be attained in the near future.
Education is was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for our founding fathers and mothers of this great nation. It will be the gateway for my people in Siaya and Kenya has a nation. And now my fellow Kenyans you have a choice. No child should have her/ his dreams deferred because of a crowed classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a secondary or university acceptance letter because they do not have money for fees. No teacher should sit out of the classroom for two weeks because of receiving peanuts. That is not our future and together we can choose that future for Kenya and Siaya. So now we face a choice Awuor is that choice driver. I know and believe that this journey would be easy, and won’t promise that now (READ: Kenyan Nun in the US Leaves Convent for Murky Kenyan Politics).
Yes, our path is harder but it leads to a better place. Yes the road is longer, but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. Let us keep our eyes fixed on that horizon of making Siaya the best in this great nation knowing that God is on our side nothing we deter us. I am your Sister! You know what? We Kenyans believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, rights that no man, Church, or government can take away. We insist on personal responsibility, and we celebrate individual initiative. We should honor the strivers, the dreamers, the risk- takers. If the way politics is being done in Kenya is to change, we have to be the and live the change we want to see. We did it during the 1960’s why not now? I am hopeful because of all of you my brothers and sisters who want change. I’m no longer just a candidate for the senate seat of Siaya I am an independent minded Kenyan woman of the 21st century. If you believe in a country, a county where everyone gets a fair shot, then I need you to vote come March 4th 2013.
To my brothers and sisters, call me “Sister!” To the people of Siaya, the Luo community and Kenyans as a whole who I share a common ancestry, allegiance, character, and purpose, call me “Sister” (Nyako). To my friends, my fellow Africa women and all fellow women, call me “Sister.” I first became “Sister,” to my brothers and sisters before I became Sister in the church as a nun. For someone and a major newspaper to imply I should stop using the word, “Sister,” is wrong. Indeed having lived in U.S. the African Americans don’t call me “Sister,” because I’m a nun (READ: Former US-Based Nun Running for Senate in Siaya Was Ex-Communicated From Church Last Year). Nevertheless the service to my church cannot be erased and I will always be proud I served as a “Sister” to the church.
I would also like to ask the Media to get all statements presented by the candidates as correctly as possible. I’m thankful for all who devote their energy and time to journalism which is important in any democracy. As the Americans the forth wheel of government media takes the discussion to the people. How else could a “Nun,” who has no money ever be able to serve the people Siaya of Siaya without the media and compete with my two famous opponents just completing contracts of Kshs 60 million each that the public paid them to find solutions yet they have nothing to show.
I’m dismayed by the fact that many candidates put party first before the electorate. As I declared in Siaya, my allegiance first goes to the constitution of Kenya. Second to the electorate of Siaya and since I have chosen to run as an Independent candidate then it will be up to the 400,000 registered voters of Siaya to decide who can represent their interest best.
Siaya County has not been spared unemployment. The best employment many youth are expecting every 5 years is the employment to go listen to politicians and get handouts of Kshs 100 or Kshs 200. If someone is lucky they will end up making Kshs 1,000 and wait for another 5 years. This should not be the case. When the MPs were employed 2007 they got a contract of Kshs 60 million. They indeed refused to get the elections done August 2012 so they could not lose a few months contract but instead added a few months pay.
The 400,000 expected voters of Siaya should demand a check of at least Kshs 1 million as arrears so they can vote for a candidate who did not create opportunity for them as their pay for their last 5 years. If 2007 the Siaya people gave jobs that paid Kshs 60 million for 5 years to those who served. The Siaya people especially those unemployed should get Kshs 1 million each and not Kshs 1000. If the Siaya voters can get Kshs 400 billion cash from those who have been paid Kshs 60 million then I will have served Siaya and I can return to my studies. If they cannot then they do not deserve to be re-employed.
To see children and teachers hurting because of the strikes made me even more determined to fine tune the Education Bill that once passed could see the lowest pay of teachers double. As I stated in an interview earlier this year if the Kshs 210 million monthly budget for MPs had been apportioned Kshs 50 million their pay, (which is still high) Kshs 50 million put in teachers pay and Kshs 50 million library equipment and books for every school and Kshs 50 million, 1 million each to a hospital in every county and doctors will not be on strike. In the past 10 years this would have seen an investment of Kshs 12 billion in teachers pay and school infrastructure development and not in mansions in Karen, campaign helicopters or savings to come buy the seat.
Kenya voters 2013 will have to vote for their interest first. Those living in poverty and in slums will have to vote for better living conditions. Teachers who cannot make ends meet will have to vote for a better day in the classroom. Parents who are looking to leave a better Kenya have to this time not settle for just “Who shall we vote for?”
Kenya at this time calls for Independent minded Kenyans to vie as Independent candidates who owe their allegiance only to the constituents they will represent. The Kenyans parties are currently not the solution for they represent just the persons who own the parties interest. Citizens have to field their independent candidate who shall work for them. I ask those who like to join me in this course for a better Kenya to join the Independent Candidates Coalition that brings us together as patriots desiring to serve the country and see our brothers and sister live better. And when you join me call me, “Sister.”
"Sister" Agnes Awour is running for the Senate seat for Siaya County in Kenya as an Independent candidate.
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