Friday, July 13, 2012

Abagusii needs new leadership

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA
Former cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae, who has since retired, is perhaps the only leader from Gusiiland who tried to unite the Abagusii community and occasionally brought their issues to the national radar.
As he enjoys retirement, is leadership is sorely missed in the region. I’m not implying that Nyachae’s leadership styles were flawless but I want to state confidently that he was a strong leader compared to the current MPs.

None of the seating MPs has tried to advocate for cohesiveness as a formula to chat the way forward for the community’s social and political interests both locally and nationally.

Two senior Cabinet ministers, Prof. Ongeri and Chris Obure are only interested in pursuing personal interests from the two hails of the coalition government.
They have completely failed to articulate the Abagusii interests, the way Nyachae occasionally tried to do. They do not care about the myriad challenges facing the community like, youth unemployment, debilitating education standards, rampant poverty, insecurity and poor infrastructure.
Even some who were voted in the last elections on a progressive platform like honourables Momoima Onyonka and Dr. Robert Monda have dismally failed the leadership test and therefore betrayed the confidence of the electorates.
This is a wakeup call for a new generation of aspiring leaders both from Kisii and Nyamira Counties to prepare and take over democratically in order to inject better leadership practises which will mitigate the crisises we are in as a community. We want to see men and women with a consciousness to salvage our two Counties from ruin.
We must vote for governors, senators and MPs with values and a transformative agenda for the community and Kenya, in order to spur socio-economic development in the region. Even those who will come seeking votes as Presidential candidates must convince our people that their record or agenda reflects well for Gusii and the whole nation.
Women aspirants must also step forward and take advantage of the current constitution so that we can have visionary and balanced- leaders with skill, knowledge, experience, and people-based to develop Gusii.
Good leadership entails directing and guiding people to make good choices geared towards improving their standard of life.
I believe that farmers, business community, professionals, youth, and social groups should, through an inclusive approach, work directly with elected leaders to address the day-to-day challenges facing the Abagusii community.
Otherwise, leaders who shun the electorates by keeping them in the dark are do on new government policies and programs which are intended to help them, do not deserve to be re-elected.
We want leaders who will bring all cadres in our community together, and introduce them to new and existing government programs to make them productive and self sustaining so that we can arrest economic stagnation to overcome poverty.
After all, the task of all political leaders is to interpret government policies and programs to the people. In fact, an elected leader is the first avenue for civic education in any society.
For instance, it’s shocking that a big percent of Youths in Gusiiland do not access the Youth Enterprise fund. Those who are aware of it do not know what to do in order to qualify. We can’t blame the government on this as it lies squarely on the elected leader.
It’s also saddening that the Tea sector, which is the backbone of Gusii’s economy, is not given adequate attention by our leaders. There are rampant outcries from farmers which range from, underpayment, poor transportation of fresh leaves to the processing plants and mismanagement of the regional factories which is often caused by political interference.
It’s high time voters focused on candidates whose ideas and issues are in tandem with the aspirations of the Abagusii community, and be wary of those who want to acquire power for their selfish ends.
Voters in the Counties of Kisii and Nyamira have the best opportunity through the coming election to define the future of Mwamogusii by voting leaders who will lift our community from the present degradation.
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