God Knows Who Becomes Kenya's Fourth President and the Truth Can Save Us Pain in the Meantime
The power to influence people cannot be faked or exerted through disingenuous means. The power to lead, to win the hearts and minds of people is a preserve of genuine leadership. Soon, the peoples’ leader will emerge to deliver the Kenyan dream.
The right of conscience is inalienable and a God given right. It is the basis upon which we cultivate our personality traits, a place to draw nourishment for our inner core values, and the principles we cherish, that we defend for life.
Kenyans are once again subjected to political conditioning by politicians who are on overdrive hunting for votes in readiness for competitive elections. In this conditioning business, we see a trend that repeats itself on a cyclic basis. The political contenders have largely remained the same, resilient and adaptable to the challenges of modern times. For those electing representatives, the deciding factors for making political choices have not changed from the traditional setting of financial equation, tribal inclinations, and party orientation. Yet after every election, issues that heighten public concerns remain unchanged for lack of political will and commitment from leaders; who by and large, are only committed to preserve their powerful positions, to rob the public successively in a perpetual hegemony.
Most of the individuals who are seeking elective positions are not fit for leadership; for they cannot pass the integrity test on all fronts – on competency, morality, and legitimacy. These are people who are either suspects or implicated in some form of evil doing or all of the evils that have compounded the deeply entrenched regime of corruption and poor governance. Be it Goldenberg, the Anglo leasing, post-election violence or maize scandal etal, scan the list of shame and you will be shocked to find those with egg on their faces are people high up the echelons of leadership.
It is not my intention to chastise anyone, including the wayward politicians. I am only voicing my concerns to call upon on Kenyans to examine their leaders at all levels, when the time comes to make decisions to elect them in the forthcoming elections. It is really a pity and inexcusable for us to tolerate people of questionable integrity – lawbreakers to continue to be our leaders.
To assess who will win Kenya’s presidency in the upcoming elections, we must weigh in heavily all factors that come into play to influence elections politics and voting patterns. While our politics is largely shaped along tribal lines, it is important to acknowledge the significant role played by associated factors with real potential to transform the political landscape. It is counterproductive and simplistic these days to cling on to the view, that politics is a plain game of numbers.
Traditionally and for many years, prominent politicians and political parties’ world over have consolidated the support of key influential players in the society to market their efforts and win elections by a convincing majority vote. They reach out to corporate giants, powerful cultural centers, and well-to-do celebrities to seek endorsement, sponsorship to boost and invigorate political campaigns. It is a typical arrangement, one of a quid pro quo, where one side scratches the back of another to get theirs scratched as well. This sort of a two-way partnership in scheming for political gain though not openly transacted is not an exotic practice to our local politicians. They too have employed similar protocols to reach political ends only that they misappropriated public funds, from kitties such as the CDF and LATF, cash cow they use to reward their political sponsors awarding them lucrative contracts once in positions of power.
Kenyans are today a politically charged lot, faced with many issues with capacity to unite or divide them. At the very heart of all the controvertible issues, is the passion surrounding the debate related to the economy with regard to people’s conditions of living and punctuated with soaring unemployment of youth, the untapped resource, human capital to realize vision 2030. The poor conditions of life and misery are factors that work well for repugnant forces; it gives them leverage to manipulate the needy. It is for this reason, that the world democracies are known to uphold the values of freedom, equity, justice and the rule of law to discourage the exploitation of the vulnerable poor.
In addition, the highly polarizing issues of ethnicity, corruption, and mismanagement of public affairs, are all defensible grounds for credible candidates to exploit and dislodge inept leaders. Besides, the intrigues of post-election violence and Hague-bound high profile cases are high explosive ingredients confronting formidable contenders for presidential ticket, where all of them but UDF and RBK are exempt for liabilities, to clear their names; it does not matter whether anybody is culpable or not; what matters is the voters’ inability to determine the guilt or innocence for alleged involvement or association of those implicated with circumstances surrounding the post poll violence. Certainly the progressive forces will launch targeted offensive riding on the premises of the preceding factors. I can foresee a situation where some group of people will be singing all the way to the State house in a chorus, verbalized – “same monkeys,’ different forest” reminiscent of NARC’S era, ‘I’m unbwogable” – You just need to know the battle lines are drawn already.
To reform Kenya, we must be ready for positive change. We cannot expect any meaningful changes while recycling leaders who have championed our regression. Let us lookout for highly qualified with the ability to generate national cohesion and capabilities, competence to execute public affairs without reproach – with confidence.
In the end, the efforts by RBK and Prof Kiyiapi will emerge with full potential to annex Kenyans perceptions as they implement the concrete steps in their strategy to harness the hopes of Kenyan people connecting them with their vision and aspirations.
I believe we have a collective responsibility to restore and rebuild Kenya.
By Mohamed Adan Wato, Major (Rtd.). Mohamed is the author of the book "Walking a Tight Rope Amidst Kenya Post Election Violence".
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