Kicking Out Politics of Mediocrity in Kenya

While giving his national address to commemorate one year after enactment of the constitution, President Mwai Kibaki poignantly observed that history is being written as the country implements the constitutional.

He observed that the future generations will envy their predecessors for achievements realized in the social, economic and political arena particularly in the birth of the third republic. I could not agree more. I am convinced that this is the time to kick out the outdated politics of mediocrity and stride to the politics of merit and development.

It is crucial for Kenyans to embrace courage and decisiveness in order to occupy their rightful places under the new constitutional dispensation so as to avoid erosion of the gains thereof.

Kenya must be bold to discard unpatriotic cultures, ethos and beliefs that are an inhibition to growth of a progressive, equitable and democratic nation.

The ongoing reforms witnessed in the judiciary, are commendable and set sound criteria on illegibility of holder’s elective offices. It is a constitutional proviso that eligibility to contest for office of president, governor, senator, Member of Parliament and or county representative must be pegged on merit, intergrity and sound moral attributes.

The politics of yesterday, where materialism, tribalism and manipulations were glorified at expense of positive leadership qualities must be buried and forgotten. This can only be possible if the people of Kenya agree to change negative attitude and misguided notions in approach to politics and expectation of leadership. Those occupying public must be viewed as public servants with an obligation to pursue national growth as opposed to some demi god’s swimming in privileges at expense of the citizenry.

Beyond their daily routine lifestyles, Kenyans need to passionately analyze the caliber of individuals seeking elective offices. It is a heinous act of betrayal for citizens particularly the enlightened individuals to abscond the role of sieving individuals seeking elective offices with a view to realizing credible leadership. The quality of political office holders significantly determines the nation wellbeing and development.

With such a realization Wananchi must effectively determine who their leaders become by participating in election as positive educators, elective office seekers and or vigilant observers. Under the new constitution it will be an onerous duty of the citizenry to ensure that the political dirt of past is filtered from contaminating the present. This is not easy but it is achievable.

In the past political elites have courted tribalism, manipulation and corruption to further selfish political agenda. Issue based political competitions tethered on political parties manifesto have been a pipe dream. Dirty subjective political considerations such as tribalism have dominated political campaigns. Economic retardation and painful political violence has been a common episode akin to PEV 2007.

Politicians who pursue tribal based politics must depart the political arena. It is despicable that some politicians are horse trading pretending to carry basket of votes from their tribes. Conspiratorial advocacy urging some Kenyans to drop their political ambition is being voiced by some misguided elements.

It is naive for some politicians to expect Kenyans to buy a political brand that Kikuyu have served as presidents twice and or that Kalenjins have served as president through President Moi and out to leave presidential contest to this or that tribe.

The ordinary Kikuyu and Kalenjin is a victim of poverty, high costs of living, unemployment, insecurity, landleness, internal displacements and lack of opportunity .The beneficiaries of post independence Kenya power wilders has been their cronies and kins. What the Kenyans need is leadership that can push development agenda and achieve national stability and social justice.

It is an abuse of the intelligence of Kenyans for some politician to campaign on the platform that their tribesman supported so and so to ascend the presidency and therefore it is the time for reprocity. Similarly it is high water mark of lunacy for some political operatives to unilateral identify tribal spokesmen. It is unfortunate that some politicians are in have a delusion that the presidency must be inherited by their tribes. These are players of obsolete politics of exclusion and must be rejected.

Kenyan must embrace leaders on basis of their ability, effectiveness and development agenda. The wananchi must seek knowledge to enable them evaluate elective offices seekers.

Under constitutional provisions on right to legal representation coupled with reformed judiciary Kenyans must remain Zealous and ensure that political demagogues are locked out never to set foot in matters of public governance.

Institutions such as the church, mosques and other religious bodies must preach values of sound leadership and intergrity.Interest groups should focus to equip citizens with objective information’s on leadership.

A curriculum on leadership and positive values should be introduced in institutions of learning so as to influence the future.

Elitist middle class cluster of the society must agree to move out of urban entertainments joints, air conditioned boardrooms and go to their counties to positively contribute on matters of sound governance rather than trooping there for Christmas festivities

George N. Kimani- Nairobi

(The writer is a lawyer and Executive Director of Kisima Rural Foundation)


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One Response to Kicking Out Politics of Mediocrity in Kenya

Wanjugu said...

Well said Mr. Kimani, couldn't agree more!