Saturday, March 23, 2013

The choice is theirs to make.

It needs to be said: if you lost an election recently, whether you are a Big Fish or not, please do not look for a backdoor into the game. Your constituents rejected you. Now, we know that you lot have enormous egos that are not easily bruised; but if the people you had tirelessly represented in Parliament or in those dens of iniquity we called local authorities refused to re-elect you, or thought that you had hitched your wagon to the wrong train, it is time you took time off from the rigours of political life and did something more constructive with your time. Set up a foundation to teach orphans to yodel or something. Just stay out of our hair for the next five years. Perhaps absence will make hearts grow fonder and we may give you another chance to peddle your wares in the corridors of power once again.

A fiction is being perpetuated that when Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto form their next administration, it is necessary for them to blend their Cabinet with both experienced hands and non-political types to ensure "stability." I say, "Horse-shit!" A casual examination of the failed politicians hovering in their ante-chambers reveals men and women who not only failed to do much for their hapless constituents, some are yet to fully unsully their reputations for graft and other forms of official skullduggery.

When Kenyans ratified their constitution in 2010, one of their key objectives was to clean up the Executive branch, to weed out the serial abusers of public office. The foundation of Chapter Six of the Constitution was the desire to keep out sundry thieves, liars and murderers out of the national Executive, and to ensure that the men and women we look to for leadership and guidance did not do their duty with one eye out for the tax-man or the anti-corruption investigators because they had their hands in the national cookie jar. It will be an insult of the highest order for the President-elect and the Deputy President-elect to even countenance the nomination of men and women whom the electorate do not deem fit to hold public office to positions in their Cabinet. If they must recycle anyone, it must be done for the noblest of reasons, that is, the man or women whom they wish to nominate must have some particular skill-set that cannot be found anywhere else in the Republic. Some of those hoping for a comeback tour are yet to explain themselves regarding accusations egregious abuse of office, grand corruption or incompetence.

We have a chance to re-shape the national Executive in order to achieve the lofty ideals contained in Vision 2030 or the Jubilee manifesto. To succeed in these objectives, we must look to men and women who have proven themselves in their respective fields, whether in the public or private sector. When nominated and appointed, they must not only know their stuff, they must also command the loyalty of the armies of public officers they will have charge over. If Messrs Kenyatta and Ruto, in their zeal to "balance" their Cabinet and their desire for stability choose old hacks long rejected by the people who know them best, then we have much to fear as we move forward into the new constitutional dispensation. They have a chance to be great. It is for them to choose how history will look at their record.

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