Monday, September 9, 2013

Kibaki Presidency; his score card and the 2013 vote

I personally think that in terms of national cohesion and integration, Kenya was in a better place before Kibaki was sworn in as Kenya’s 3rd president.

The old man took over the presidency amid lot of expectations from an impoverished nation by the Kanu misrule but what happened? Did Kibaki lead according to the creed of the Rainbow revolution of 2002? The answer is no!

Yes I agree, he restored sanity in the cabinet by giving Ministers a free hand to do their jobs; increased revenue collections which made the devolution of recourses through the CDF, Road levy and Local authorities Trust fund possible.

Kibaki injected a sense of hard work and self determination to the Kenyan populace by stressing the need for citizens’ hard work unlike the Moi style of dishing handouts. His administration ensured that freedom of speech and assembly was safeguarded although the Standard media raid and the first lady’s escapade at the nation media group still linger in the memory of Kenyans.

He rarely portrays the big man syndrome which often characterized Kenyatta and Moi’s leadership. Often plays it simple with a sense humour and humbleness. His undoing: tribalism on government appointments, stealing elections, indecision even when the country needed urgent leadership intervention especially during the post election violence.

As we head to the ballot in March 2013, if we are not careful we may end up voting in wrong leaders. The biggest challenge we face as progressives in social media forums and daily arguments is lack of unity and a sense of patriotism.

Rather than shape the debate to identify the men and women who truly stand for the good of Kenya, many of us have brooded unto our ethnic cocoons. Even in this forum, an argument from a Luo is likely to gravitate towards Raila while from a Kikuyu to Uhuru Kenyatta. Soon, we will start seeing most contributions from Luyias solidly behind their man; Musalia Mudavadi. To be honest, where will my argument anchor as a Kisii, when we don't have a Presidential candidate?

Why should I support a fellow tribesman for the simple reason that we share a tribal lineage even when my conscience is very clear that such tribesman or woman has got nothing to offer the people of Kenya in terms of good leadership practices? It's worrying that as a subscriber to several forums, Im usually shocked with what I read especially coming from the new generation of thinkers- youth and intellectuals.

If it's not hate, it's tribalism/ negative ethnicity, If it's not insults and epithets, it's hate speech and incitement, if it's not threats and obscene rumours, it's malice and propaganda. We have become purveyors of hate and tribalism instead of purveyors of patriotism.

The name Kenya has taken a back banner. Many of us have reverted to our tribal lineages and will support criminals just because we share a similar dialect! Folks, it's not too late to take stock of the men and women who are parading themselves to vie not only for the Presidency but also other key elective positions in our country's leadership hierarchy in order to identify those who can represent our people well.

Rather than dwell on simple things like Raila wearing a graduation gown all the way from the USA; which I personally cannot do, why can't we start putting a microscope on all Presidential candidates and analyze them one by one based their records, their understanding of the predicaments bedeviling Kenya and the workable remedies they have to get us out of the mess. I do believe every presidential candidate has something to offer.

We cannot underrate anybody. Let us start with Kalonzo, Ruto, Raila, Wetangula, Kiyiapi,Mutava, Eugene, Uhuru,Karua, Saitoti and Peter Kenneth. Rather than focus so much on individuals, let us try to interrogate where all candidates stand on issues like alleviating poverty, unemployment and how serious they appear on bringing reforms especially under the new dispensation.

Finally, when are done doing so, we move a notch lower to those who will stand as governors in our 47 Counties and also try to scan them, since these are very challenging seats which will also define the future of our nation. This way, I believe will help us make good judgment and advise the voters.

Otherwise, throwing tribalistic jabs here and there will not differentiate us from the regular 'noise' out there. These are my thoughts. Do feel free to correct me.
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