Cleaning up our litter

I was pleasantly surprised when I read this tweet yesterday by a Kenyan parliamentary aspirant.

How may times do we see washed out election ‘litter’ around our towns and neighbourhoods? Nasty looking posters stuck over road signs or torn flags hanging from street poles. Then there is the occasional non-election related sun faded vinyl billboards. One wonders how brand managers are happy to see their brands portrayed like that!

Sometime last month there was message making the rounds on Whatsapp that listed new bylaws approved by the Lilongwe City Council. The laws covered issues ranging from road safety and sanitary to animal control and liquor regulations among others. On Solid Waste Management, the bylaws stipulate that owners or occupiers of premises are responsible for litter until collected by the council or it’s agents. Any littering will attract stiff penalties.

It will be interesting to know who owns election material – the aspirant of the owner of the street pole where it has been pasted. Would be good to get some clarification on whether pasting of election material on undesignated spots like light poles, perimeter fences and flyovers is considered littering. And if the bylaws will force candidates to pull down their election material after people have voted.

But then again, we are a country that is perpetually in campaign mode. Not having our party flags and leaders’ faces bearing down on the populace is an abomination!


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Austin Madinga's Life Unbound