By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
The institution of the Presidency appears defiled. State House has become a den of all vices bedeviling our country. Just like in the old Kanu days, it’s in State house where the current President Uhuru Kenyatta, parades ethnic lords not to discuss tangible plans for the greater good but to consolidate power.
Retrogressive schemes are hatched in State House by the President and his deputy William Ruto, to stifle our democratic tenets.
It’s only in State House, where former governors like Isaac Ruto, Peter Munya, Moses Akaranga, and former Speaker Kenneth Marende, former legislators Cyrus Jirongo, Paul Otwoma, and senators Chris Obure and David Musila flock to, after suffering political defeat in their backyards.
Lately, the President’s tone and choice of words after the Supreme court nullified his victory has reflected him as too angry, threatening and lacking decorum. Many Kenyans feel like the wind of dictatorship is hitting our country just like what is happening in Uganda.
The most disturbing part is where the President and his henchmen have consistently threatened the Judiciary; targeting Chief Justice David Maraga over last month’s ruling. His anger on dissenters (opposition) has been unprecedented.
Recently, the chairman of Jubilee was quoted on Television telling the world that the country can only get out the current melancholy, if President Uhuru became a benevolent dictator. This confirmed our fears that Uhuru’s “tough talk” has a genesis.
How will Kenyans gain from benevolent dictatorship apart from impeding the gains we have made as democratic country? Does Murathe know that any form of dictatorship only benefits those closer to the ruler (dictator)?
I would like to remind Kenyans that Uhuru has enjoyed his 5 years of Presidency unperturbed. Nobody tried to prevent him from realizing the promises he made to the voters in 2013.
It’s also worthy to note that political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi, perceived as an intellectual has also stooped too low to toot an ethnic trumpet in social media. He has consistently reminded Uhuru to hit hard at the political opposition and crush them completely.
Ngunyi, leads in political sycophancy. He lacks objectivity in his social media biased commentaries. If he is truly Uhuru’s friend, how can he advise him to do things which are contrary to the law and democratic tenets?
Crushing opposition leaders may mean detaining, assassinating, and depriving them off their freedom. Ngunyi and Murathe’s irresponsible utterances were followed by CS Fred Matiangi, withdrawing security from top opposition leaders.
Matiangi, failed to tell the nation why security forces entered university halls of residence to terrorize innocent students but was quick to withdraw security from senior leaders who have served the country diligently for many years.
The National Super Alliance (Nasa) may not be an amalgam of saints, the coalition is seen by many Kenyans as the epitome of hope for the country. The leader of the coalition Raila Odinga has been steadfast, consistent and courageous to point out government excesses as it affects the common Mwananchi. He has done this in decades without faltering despite frustrations from the ruling the elite.
While all hope is not lost, the future of Kenya looks bleak. Our dreams have been shuttered by incompetence in leadership. The late Francis Imbuga, captures it so well in his play Betrayal in the City by summing it up this way: “It was better while we waited. Now we have nothing to look forward to. We have killed our past and are busy killing our future.”
Exit the foibles in the Uhuru leadership, enters others in the political spectrum. Take for instance the youthful human rights practitioner-Senator Hassan Omar who shifted gears from the Wiper Party.
Did Mr Omar learn that Nasa under Raila was taking Kenyans nowhere when he lost the Mombasa gubernatorial seat when he has been telling Kenyans that it’s the only safeguard for equity, equality, social justice and human rights compared to Jubilee?
What has changed in Uhuru and Ruto, when just a month ago during the campaigns, the senator branded them as purveyors of impunity and marginalization of the coastal people?
Current defections to the Jubilee party has spiraled. A notable figure who also surprised many after switching gears is former MP for Budalangi Ababu Namwamba. It’s still unclear what drove him to quit the Secretary General post in the ODM, to join Jubilee only to suffer a devastating defeat as Budalangi MP in August.
What drives these leaders to State House may not be the Jubilee party philosophy but what Kenyans have come to call “tumbocracy,” or better known as pursuit of “the self.”
They want relevance, cash and jobs by betraying the parties they once supported A reflection that they lack principals, character and integrity in their leadership journey.
In sum, are these the type of leaders we expect to reform Kenya? No wonder, we may take a Century to fully improve our political leadership systems and processes.
It’s prudent therefore to conclude that, our politicians need more civic education on the role of government t more than the citizens, if what they do and say is something to go by.
Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA