The whole concept of democracy rests on citizen’s participation and engagement. So also, there can never be good governance without citizen’s participation.
It is not enough to vote during elections and go into hibernation thinking that we have finished our job. We conveniently shift our focus towards public officials with the mistaken assumption that they will perform magic and solve all our problems.
It is easy to point accusing fingers at elected public servants for all our woes; the hard option, however, is to ask ourselves how have our actions and inactions contributed to the current unpleasant reality we find ourselves in.
Many of us have confined ourselves to the comfort zone of criticism, but only create excuses and alibi when it is time to act and engage the governance processes.
Many are very critical of our governance system and public servants, but ask them what they have done to add value to the system, and you end up with more blame game.
Criticism is good in a democracy when it is constructive, but what is more, is effective engagement which is result-driven. Public servants will come and go but we the people remain constant in the democratic equation.
The biggest challenge is that we criticize what we barely understand. How well do many of us know about development plans, sectorial policies, budgets and public service delivery?
It is time to educate ourselves on governance processes, ask critical questions and hold all public servants to account.