Kenya’s abysmal politics a direct import of our choice

A rare species of a politician, a leader in the contemporary world, Jesse Ventura is in a class of his own, apart from being brutally honest with his political views, he remains the only leader of the independent party who won election when he got elected to the key post of governor in Minnesota. Away from his achievements, I find the following words he spoke recently very educative and timely for the Kenyan folks. Ventura had quipped, “When the power of love overtakes the love of power, we shall be one and united as a Country”. Kenya is one place that needs unity on many fronts and mine really is to expressly share views to revitalize the need for a concerted effort in seeking able leadership at all levels, National and devolved levels.

Economic growth and prosperity is dependent upon good governance, secure, stable environment, and political will from the executive for the citizens to pursue meaningful economic activities, to create wealth and employment in order to stimulate national development. To move all working parts of a nation, Kenya needs a capable leader, one who is able to synchronize the vision and aspiration of the people and deliver goods and services needed to steer the nation towards a steady path of growth and development.

Going by the current trends of political affairs in Kenya, the criteria used in choosing national leaders and representatives is seriously flawed and misguided at the very least, not for lack of legislative capacity but because of a big gap in civic education.

It is sad to note that all persons aspiring to lead in Kenya has to come from a closely knit segment of society, extremely wealthy and or traditionally connected to a politically powerful entity or, be part of a cartel always determined to ruthlessly defend vested interests to the detriment of public good, common welfare.

Great leadership acumen such as those exemplified by heroes like Nelson Mandela of our time and Mahatma Gandhi of yester-year is not about oneself but about certain key value sets and beliefs, powerful enough to assert authority, garner popular support and influence to provide direction and hopes for the people. Hence, without a unified theme of beliefs and values to rally and influence people, our present-day leaders are going to fail miserably in their quest to transform the society.

As it is now, we are left with our institutions as the only conduit left to save Kenyans from the tyranny of an archaic political system that is overly immoral, has no regard for merit, ethics or profession whatsoever but feeds on corruption and exclusively depends on mediocre ethnic jingoism amidst classic scheme pitting factional class interest. It is no wonder our presidential aspirants are too contented to sidestep real issues, challenges facing Kenya today. None of them have tabled any real tangible plan to grow the economy, to rein in mounting security threats or deal with widespread poverty, diseases and unemployment.

In a country where ethnic groups appoint their tribal chieftains, and where gangsters, lords of impunity equally appoint or endorse their representatives, there can never be hope for a prospect of transformative change in sight. The people are owners of change and our situation is basically a matter of choice.

Mohamed Wato is a Retired Kenya Army Major, Aspiring Senate candidate for Marsabit County and Author; Walking a Tight Rope amidst Kenya Post election violence

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