Wednesday, June 1, 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta needs to think about his legacy
President Uhuru Kenyatta scores highly as an affable person who mingles freely with the lowly in society. He has demystified the presidency; making himself accessible to Kenyans from all walks of life.
However, Uhuru hasn’t done well on good governance, inculcating better leadership practices, respecting the rule of law, nurturing accountability and accommodating dissent from critics since taking power in 2013.
The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question many Kenyans have been asking is this: What shall President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto pass to the next generation when they shall have gone to meet their Lord?
Kenyans have seen Uhuru and Ruto lead a government littered with mega corruption scandals, impunity, land grabbing and looting of public funds. They have seen the importation of expensive anti-riot gear to suppress dissenters hence, killing democracy.
Deputy President Ruto just like Uhuru, is an amiable person. He is easily approachable. His close friends say, he is one of the most generous political leaders in Kenya who shares his money and in huge bills.
It’s imperative that the two Jubilee coalition leaders attended to their legacies with only 14 months left before the next general election if they truly care about bequeathing a positive legacy to the next generation. They should reflect on their political journey and ask themselves what future generations will find in record about them-verbatim, written, and oral.
Current events in the country if not urgently addressed will put the legacy of Uhuru and Ruto in jeopardy unless they make a fast ‘u’ turn.
Today, if Uhuru agreed to a new IEBC created jointly with the opposition that will see a free and fair elections in 2017, he is likely to go down in history as a very transformative president. He has a chance to slay another dragon of tribal bigotry, corruption and open doors for a free society devoid of nepotism and inequality.
As the adage goes, “a good name is better than riches.” The good you do in life to rekindle hopes, offer counsel, share kindness and mercy will determine the immortality you will leave and will define quality and not the quantity that you shall be remembered for.
Most Kenyans are proud that they have a president and deputy who mingles freely with all and sundry but this is not enough. They want to see more positive things; they want to enjoy their freedom as enshrined in the constitution.
The legacies of the late Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King of South Africa and USA respectively, are unsurpassed. Their families and nations proudly associate with these legends with confidence.
In Kenya, the late Tom Mboya, Masinde Muliro, JM Kariuki, and Chelagat Mutai, will forever be remembered for their patriotism through the quest for freedom, fairness (equity) and an inclusive government.
Cord leader Raila Odinga, Gitobu Imanyara and James Orengo, to mention but a few remain living agents of our freedom and a representation of the future worthy fighting for.
It’s tragic that late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta bravely fought for independence but dented his legacy through greed and political assassinations. Who knows that is why the current president rarely invokes his father’s name publically. May be he fears the controversy its likely to generate!
What our leaders forget is that, wealth is not everything. In fact, the greatest men and women who have made history in the world like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Matma Gandhi of India were not rich. They never lived in mansions, but left a rich legacy when they passed on.
Mother Theresa is immortalized for her service to the poor, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King for their bravery in the quest for emancipation of their people from injustices. Raila Odinga and Kenneth Matiba are likely to be immortalized for their bravery in the fight for wider democratic space in Kenya.
Activist Boniface Mwangi once said these words to President Uhuru: “Long after you’re gone, we shall remember you not by your net worth but by your deeds. Your father, who Kenyans fundraised for so that he could build a house after his release from prison in 1961, turned around and decided to grab land.”
The late Dr Myles Munroe, of the Bahamas Faith Evangelistic Ministries while on a visit to Kenya shortly before he died in a plane crash, said that Kenyans are blessed to have a President from an affluent family. The motivational speaker was optimistic that Uhuru’s government is likely fight graft since the President is self-reliant materially.
When good things happen in any society, the world looks at the leadership of that country. That is why President Uhuru is applauded when things are right but discredited when things are wrong.
As the 4th President of the republic of Kenya under Uhuru Kenyatta has got room to redeem his legacy so that he can leave an indelible mark in Kenya. Just as God looks at our deeds, human beings too watch our steps. When the good outnumbers the bad, we leave a legacy.