“May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” John Adams.
When the bell tolled in late December, 2007 and early 2008, it tolled for our great country Kenya. Its future was at crossroads as a result of politics of brinkmanship. The natural mystic of violence was blowing through the air causing death and suffering to the innocents. Political violence is usually the last refuge for those who do not accept or listen to those holding divergent views and opinions. We had to make a choice, as a people we had to choose between eternal infamy and posterity for our oneness. For those who were in the “wrong” places, they had to sleep with eyes open and ears on the ground for fear of senseless attacks or even death. It seemed as if the humanity in people had given way to utter evil conduct. The actions of some wicked and ignoble Kenyans sent shock waves throughout the lengths and breadths of the entire world. Politics had become a propagation of war by other means; politicians had squandered the public goodwill and trust.
Our leaders had shirked their responsibilities and it took the ratcheting up the pressure of the much maligned traditional imperial powers of Britain, The European Union, The United States and The United Nations to bring our belligerent political leaders to a discussion and negotiation table. We waited with abated breath glued to our screens for the signs of peace and cessation of violence. The semi-tepid Serena Team gave us the frame-work for the National Accord; a giant step in the right direction under the circumstances thus provided a stop-gap measure between the two stark choices notwithstanding the moral ambiguity of the power sharing deal. So far, I am glad that the glue that holds the Kenyan nation-state still holds, albeit weakly and the wheel continues to spin.
The tragic events of the said period left me a dismayed, dejected and forlorn man. The promise for a bright future which Kenyans had hoped for had now fizzled out, the raised dreams of the disfranchised Kenyans were dashed and crushed and it was now replaced with the fight for survival. National cohesion seemed a long-shot. I prayed for a new kind of politics which would bring the nation together through valuing an open dialogue about the issues which had created the rift which existed. And while I prayed, I renewed my faith in Kenya and formed a mental picture of the kind of person who would accomplish my dream for a unified, peaceful and prosperous Kenya, a person who exists on a higher moral plane, but not a celestial being, fit to serve and lead the free world, a person with a gamut of sociopolitical adroitness. A person whose promises would be buttressed by genuine commitment to the furtherance of the existence, observation and respect for human rights. The primary needs of food, shelter, health care, and education must become fundamental and inalienable rights of all people within our borders. Slowly but surely, Kenya may rise from its ashes.
The message of politics is a message dear and near to my heart. Taken in sum, the conditions between the governing parties have not been placid, but the conduct of the people in the country and the recent events in Kenya has restored and buoyed spirit my faith in politics. But we should take heart for the long wait is nearly over. There appears to be a genuine sense of people moving on despite the setbacks and the endless political shenanigans. I still do not know who will be elected the president of Kenya in 2013, but I know the candidate who I will vote for president. A person of conviction and not just calculations who epitomizes the vision and virtues of unparalleled universal security, justice, morality, liberty, freedom, peace, human rights, fiscal discipline, and a people oriented leadership in our nation.
A principled and responsible leader whose policies will stir the stagnant waters of opportunities for those who merit them without necessarily having to “know” someone upstream. A dedicated leader with a focus on public interest who will foster an environment in which people get what they want, what they need, or what they have a right to as of right and not a favour. This must be a leader with a purpose and proven track record of disavowing political violence, hooliganism and thuggery. He may be a political neophyte, but for as long as the interests of the nation take center stage in his heart, I will vote the person to the position of the highest office in the land.
The time is nigh when we must now embark on a new course. We need a person who’s national and foreign policies and priorities must transcend tribal arithmetic, color, sex, or social-economic backgrounds. His/her modus operandi must be above paranoia, spite for opponents, ignorance of prevailing economic situations, hate for any section of the nation or its people or petty political chest thumping. The coming government must reform the tax regime so that workers get to have more to show for their toil and live comfortable lives off their earnings. The person should not subscribe to the skewed and jaded economic system which breeds monetary leeches, scoundrels and economic sociopaths whose only motivation is not to create and maintain wealth for all by working, but to siphon off the productivity of others. A person who will make our children see the sense in singing the national anthem and the state instruments as embodiments of our sovereignty and not chattels of the wise overloads whose pictures hang on walls of public offices and commercial enterprises. This should be a leader who eschews political exigency at the expense of national interest and in the words of Robert Frost, will “occupy the land with character.”
Penned on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 4:39pm revised on 4th September, 2012.