Awareness campaign for clean election in Goilala District By-Election is necessary to stop corruption and bribery in height of the election.
It is not enough to know that bribery exists and to do nothing about it. It is a proper time we expose corrupt candidates and their supporters. It is better they are not part of something they contemplate on hijacking with money. These are the bases why politics in Goilala is not working. It is only because candidates and their supporters spend so much money buying votes that when they get elected, the same energy is utilized in recouping lost monies.
The target groups in this case are the youths and community leaders. These can be easily influenced with a K1 betelnut money. These people don’t care who does what. All they interested about is that someone is able to do a small act of kindness.
The idea is that a good person gives. If you give something to someone then you are a good person: Yu em rait man olgeta. People will say, “votim em (vote him).” But this is not for anything good you’ve done but you have just filled someone’s desire. He is satisfied from the onset. Nothing matters then.
Common Attitude: GUT
We Goilala people haven’t grown up to maturity as a peopel yet. We are still in the childhood stages or shall I say primitive stages of our growth. As a child who cries when he/she is hungry and we are very much rule by our gut (belly). Every one of us lacks good wisdom to reason to understand the thing that matter most. We are ruled by the outcomes or the empirical experiences.
I see this has a reason why even an educated Goilalan can kill another person when upset over a trivial matter. We don’t have a reasoning capacity. We only do that which momentarily invades our mind from the onset. This is the one of the primary reasons why we are accused of some of the most heinous crimes in the country. It seems as though we are surviving only of our gut and not reason.
I was told that in a confrontation Goilalas don’t ask questions. So long as a relative is injured on the ground, the kinsman or woman who comes to the scene don’t ask: “Who did it or why is she/he like this?” He attacks the person standing next to the victim, though innocent he may be and with no cause of justification.
Most of these have to do with social formation and how “little” we feel about ourselves. We think we are last of everyone in the world; we think we have nothing; we think nobody will listen to us and we think we are incompetent against the others. And so we say; “You can only hold your wife down and intercourse with her” (Nie iva aeva milai kina’ua pekat’a).
These are realities of our people. We don’t want to show that we are nothing, nobody and anything. So we display our aggression to scare off others. Aggression in actual fact is a sign of FEAR. We are fearful, we are vulnerable. Fear is at the level of our gut feeling.
Bribery during elections is not a game of money but the fear of losing, of not making a mark and of not being able to possess the goods of the district or of letting others taking possessing of it.
Strategy to curve bribery and corruption
The best way to put an end to this is to have spies in place, not so much the supporters of candidates, polling officials or scrutineers but village elders or people of good standing in the community. They see or hear of anybody buying votes, giving any form of assistance to the community on the eve of the elections and or any other irregularities, they report this with specific detail to us who are against corruption on in the elections and we monitor the movement of this particular guy. We will use this information to report to the Electoral Commission and this candidate can be terminated from running.
This is easier to do if we have honest and trusted persons in strategic places in community centres around the district. These people will be give updates of the progress of elections in the district as well as report on malpractices.