Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Myth

We are in the throes of an existensial crisis. My friends, we are going nowhere. Fast! Recent developments have shown up the myth of the multi-party polity. It was meant to foster democracy. That dream has been shattered to smithereens. There is no doubt that we need to rethink the configuration of leadership. How can we foster leadership, inculcate it in all Kenyans?
We must begin by admitting that we have failed ourselves and are failing our great nation. It is time that we began the long process of rebuilding national institutions, including government, religion, academia, sport, entertainment, the Fourth Estate, business, and foreign relations. It would mean redesigning our rules of leadership to remove or reduce conflicts of interest. When personal interests become the primary consideration when addressing matters of national concern, that is conflict of interest. None of our so-called leaders have been unable to separate the personal from the national and that is why lunatic statements like witchcraft in soccer are uttered by otherwise sensible old men or prime ministers will complain that they do not have assigned carpetted toilets.
Remove conflict of interest and the process of recreating leadership for the national good begins. Nzamba Kitonga and his team are sitting to draft a new constitution. They must consider all the other drafts that came before. Many had solid recommendations on how to govern. However, the constitution cannot change the character of Kenyans. That must begin from within.
I offer you a thought: If at any time you wanted or are a leader, and your desire was motivated by money or security for you and your family; if you considred the national good only after you had considered everything else, your are by all accounts a BAD leader. You will make a terrible president and your actions in any position of leadership will lead to loss in the long term.
Is it any wonder that we have very few innovative companies in Kenya? Is it any wonder that we are suspicious of all religions and religious denominations? Change your character and change the world.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The way of the gun?

When they formed the 2003 Narc government, Raila and Kibaki could not imagine the lengths to which their friends and enemies would go to ensure that their agenda would not survive. Mr. Kibaki was unwell, some say he was near death’s door. Raila was NOT the vice president; his ego would not permit it. It is this essential error that ensured that the fate of this country would be for the worse.

The so-called Mt. Kenya Mafia, in the period of the president’s convalescence, took over the reins of power and ensured that all potential future threats against their praetor would be met with defeat if not total annihilation. Raila Odinga and his LDP rebels were sidelined in decision-making; they were denied executive power in any form. Instead, Kibaki’s vice-president, the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa, was bolstered just enough to ensure the LDP did not become a force within government. All the instruments of power - the police, armed forces, finance, internal security – were concentrated among trusted allies of the Mt. Kenya Mafia.

If only Kibaki, upon his recovery, had honoured the secret MoU with the LDP, Kenya would have been spared the bloodshed of 2008. However, this was not to be. With that betrayal, the die was cast. The LDP rebelled during the referendum for the draft new constitution and solidified into a force to reckon with during the 2007 general elections. That it prevailed as the ODM is no consolation as the ODM is not in charge of the executive power in Kenya today. In attempting to redress the balance of power between the erstwhile coalition partners, they greatly underestimate the spoiler role that ODM-K’s Kalonzo Musyoka is bound to play in the next 3 years. It would be riskier if they were to presume that because his political constituency is concentrated in Ukambani, with one or two pockets of dissent, he is a weakling or without resources.

Kalonzo is the V-P. In the event the president becomes incapacitated, the V-P takes over. That is a constitutional reality and the National Accord amendments in the Constitution will not change it. Raila, as PM, has no executive power. ‘Supervise’ is such an amorphous word that is near impossible to apply to government. And to ignore the role played by the permanent secretary in the office of the president is simply foolhardy (or foolish, depending on where you stand). It is now dawning on the ODM that they made a desert and called it peace and now they are all dying of thirst while the PNU hogs all the oases.

It is time that Raila admitted to himself and to the nation that he will NEVER be president of this country – his time has passed. It is time to start grooming the next national leaders of this country. Even the likes of Joshua Kutuny have time and opportunity on their side. The old warriors should make arrangements for their retirement. This is the only way that Kenya can move forward. Say it ain’t so!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The 2 Principals Must Go!

We must agree that it is important to have dialogue in any confrontation. We cannot simply bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the problem affects someone else. That is what Kenyans are doing today - pretending that the political problems facing us are someone else's problem. This fact cannot be wished away. We must face it head on and we must come to terms with it.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Kibaki are not fit to hold high office. They have played with our lives and our national treasures simply to assuage their enormous egos. In their political calculations, Kenyans were not a factor, merely and excuse to engage in political brinkmanship. The result is that hundreds of Kenyans died and hundreds of thousands list their properties.

The coalition of the greedy has not brought about an improvement in our lives. Indeed, it has been a source of ever increasing misery. It is this coalition that has stolen food from the hungry, murdered innocent people, misused public funds, and sold public properties to foreigners for a song. It has refused to take any steps towards national cohesion or a new constitutional dispensation. It has began to attack an independent judiciary with sophistry and cant. It is a liability and it must be brought down.

It is our duty to remove Raila and Kibaki and their cohorts from power. They have proven time and again to have feet of clay. They don't have our interests at heart. we need a new breed of leaders. While I disagree with the NCCK on many issues, they are correct. We must have fresh elections, a new parliament and a new cabinet. Then we can move on.

Lack of vision

We must all take responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in today. It is not enough to rail against the system while we have refused to hold the members of the establishment to account for their deeds and misdeeds. The situation in Kenya today is one in which all the institutions of governance, whether political, social, moral or academic, are crumbling and bereft of leadership.

Leadership should inspire us to attempt the impossible - to shoot the moon, so to speak. We are living in a bankrupt age: bereft of any ideas save for the hustle. Take the example of our public universities: When the KU students went on the rampage in the past few weeks, we bemoaned the fact that they caused damage to public and private property in the pursuit of their demands. Vice Chancellor Mugenda is powerless to stop the violence from spilling onto Thika Road because she epitomizes the state of leadership in public institutions: it doesn't exist.

While her appointment may have been based on her professional qualifications, it is now becoming apparent that that was not the only criteria that she was evaluated by. as in appointments to all other institutions, he political temperature was also gauged and when she was found to be acceptable on that basis, her appointment came to pass. There is risk, however. Whenever irrelevant considerations are made, the long term goals of an institutions run the risk of being compromised if the newly installed leadership bereft of any vision. This is the situation that KU finds itself today. from all accounts, Prof. Mugenda runs the university along the same draconian lines that Moi-era leaders ran their dockets. She does not listen to new ideas, she does not tolerate constructive criticism and she will not countenance that others may be smarter and more experienced than her. Many of the experienced people in the University have given up attempting to advise her and have decided to sit back and watch the destruction of the institutions.

this is not in any way to absolve the student leadership. it too has failed to evolve with the times. Not many student leaders have any experience in addressing the needs and requirements of the students who elected them to office. They are, more sadly, not even interested in learning the basic tenets of leadership. If Joshua Kutuny is anything to go by, student leaders only see their future in terms of entering the national assembly as MPs. None sees their role as being to ensure that the universities where they learn improve to height before unknown.

And this is the malaise afflicting our country. In institution after institution, the lack of a genuine leadership has impacts far greater than that of poor management. The lack of a vision is the reason why programmes and policies as the Vision 2030 will not succeed. We don't have visionaries anymore and we are to blame. in our desire to protect our ethnic bailiwicks, we have promoted charlatans and snake-oil salesmen to positions of power and authority but not leaders. We shall continue to suffer so long as we make the wrong calculations. this is a fact. Let us accept it and deal with it.

They all fall, eventually

The member of the National Assembly for Mumias East is a spectacularly unpleasant character. But he is not unique. A former member of the Na...