Cliff: May civility reign in club politics

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I had secretly told myself that I will not use this space to delve into the forthcoming club elections. In fact, on Monday morning when I switched on my computer to pen down this week`s article, I had a totally different issue to address. But a brief stop at GOR MAHIA FC group- the club`s biggest and oldest fan base group- changed the trajectory of my thoughts.

Some of the posts coming from that group have reminded me of the 2016 elections that left a very bitter aftertaste in most people`s mouths. Arguably the most contested election of our time, it revealed the other side of most fans as they pushed their favourite candidate`s agenda for the various positions.

The Chairman`s position in particular saw the fan base divided into three bitter camps. As each side did its level best to paint their candidate as the long awaited Scarlet Pimpernel who would rescue K`Ogalo and usher in a new dispensation of success on and off the pitch, civility was thrown out of the window as friends turned against each other with reckless abandon.

The hunt for votes and the propaganda accompanying it considered nothing too immoral, no issue too private and no language are unpalatable. Names were dragged in the mud, people taken to police cells and gangs unleashed on real and perceived enemies. By the time the winners of the various seats were being declared, relationships had been destroyed, trusts broken and dirty linen paraded in the eyes of a public that should not have seen them.

Fast forward to 2020, and the last few days have given worrying signs that we could be going back that road again. The would-be candidates are already jostling for the four positions on offer and the supporters are already out guns blazing, ready to take on the opposing candidates and their supporters. It’s already threatening to be ‘noisy, messy and (may have) casualties.’

As the admin of the fans’ group noted last Monday, very many pseudo accounts have been created and have sought admission to ‘THE WALL’, ready to pounce on opponents with the ruthlessness of a rabid dog.

My unsolicited advice to fellow fans is to exercise restraint and caution even as they try to woo voters to their respective camps. While emotions are part and parcel of elective politics, we must be careful about what we write and say because as they say: the internet never forgets.

Fans must remember one thing- this election will only be decided by the few registered members who have only one vote per person. You can campaign for the candidate to whom you intend to cast your single vote without necessarily stepping on the toes of those who have chosen a route contrary to yours. 

We might have varied ways of showing it, but the truth is we all love Gor Mahia FC. The Green and White bring us together, no politician deserves the honor of setting us apart. In the end, Gor Mahia FC must emerge as the overall winner on 8th August 2020.

May the best candidates win.

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