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 I am convinced that this is the time to kick out the outdated politics of mediocrity and stride to the politics of merit and development.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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)