January 31, 2022


Kenya’s youth do not want to be mere spectators, or a means to justify an end for politicians, but key stakeholders in the democratic process and it starts with access to information.

More by Winnie Kabintie

Access to Information Essential for Democracy

Access to Information Essential for Democracy

Election campiagns in Kenya

The 2022 election is just around the corner, campaigns are heating up and alliances are forming already! for elections to be free, fair, and credible, voters must have access to information at all stages of the electoral process.

This will make voters and especially the first-time youth voters informed about political processes so that they can be well equipped to vote for their leaders and also be able to hold public officials accountable once they are in office.

Having voted in the last two elections; 2012 and 2017 with the latter being the first time I was eligible to register as a voter, I realise that the 2022 elections are finding me much more loaded with information and awareness about my civic rights and the whole electoral process at large.

In 2012, I was only excited at the idea of possessing a voters card and participating in an election, just because it made me feel mature and that I had a choice to elect my preferred leaders based on their manifestos, yet other than the presidential aspirants and perhaps the governors whose manifestos were more accessible, I had little awareness of what my Senator, Member of Parliament, Member of County Assembly had to offer and only made my selection based on my “political party affiliation”.

I saw coalitions being formed but I never thought that it was in my interest and those of fellow voters to have access to the information binding these coalitions or even the ideologies of the political party I had gravitated towards.

Now in 2022, I’m realizing that there is more to political alliances formations and I’m wondering why the crucial information contained in the usual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are never in the public domain.

I think Citizens have a right to this information as they are equal stakeholders in the electoral process.

Political Parties

When it comes to political parties, for most citizens, it’s always a matter of “association” than being a meaningfully engaged stakeholder.  Most Political party followers rarely get the opportunity to understand how decisions are made and are only engaged by the entities only during voter registration for the next general or by-election.

As a new generation of voters become eligible to vote in the 2022 elections and in future elections, we must strive to change our way of politics and make the process worthwhile if we are to convince young voters that elections make sense, and that starts with providing access to information in all stages of the electoral processes that go beyond just asking them to “register as voters”.

Kenya’s youth do not want to be mere spectators, or a means to justify an end for politicians, but key stakeholders in the democratic process.


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