Kenyans will pay the full price

THE CRISIS THAT STARTED as a disputed presidential vote count and later became a social catastrophe has transformed itself, in its eighth week, into an international battle of wits.

The international community would love to claim victory on behalf of the Kenyan people, yet they clearly have their own agenda. The tongue-lashing Kenyans have received from the international community is amazingly similar to some of the diatribe offered by local politicians on the campaign trail.

Never before has the country received as much international attention from both friend and foe as it is getting now. We should perhaps be glad for this fond demonstration of concern, except that in all this, the people have once again been side-lined.

While blaming ourselves squarely for creating this unpleasant situation, Kenyans must ask what they have to gain by bowing to international pressure.

How did we allow the international community to take over the people’s position at the mediation talks?

The easy answer to that question is that we have no leaders. The international community wants regional stability, democracy and a return to business as usual. We may wish to ask whose business we are talking about here. It seems Kenya is just a pawn in the grand game of global influence.

Short-sighted politicians are negotiating power, prestige and positions in order to share the spoils with those whom they owe political debts.

An agreement with the international community may be hatched in the comfort of a hotel, but make no mistake, it is the people of Kenya who will pay the full price of the deal.

THE SIDES WILL MAKE TRADE-OFFS to suit their own interests without a thought of who has to pay for the fallout, follow through or future. They will emerge from the talks with a political pact and leave the people to pay for the process.

The people have an agenda too. The people want peace, justice and reconciliation. They want self-respect and their national pride back. They want a future and the children need hope. The people want security of land and property, but they also know that they have no guarantees where politicians are involved.

What is most feared from this international match is not that one side will win or that sense will prevail. What is most terrible is that the people will lose and still be made to pay for the contest.

That leaders should hand over the country’s destiny to diplomatic debate indicates a clear and desperate lack of leadership. When will we understand that leadership is not politics and politics is not leadership?

The international community has already declared that Kenya is a country they cannot afford to lose. With such odds stacked against us, deliverance can only come from God. Every Kenyan should continue to pray and ask God for deliverance.

Mr Allan Bukusi is a leadership trainer and author of ‘Thinking Leadership in Africa.’

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