Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Obama Victory should catalyse political change in Kenya and Africa

Obama’s victory should energize Kenyans to focus on how we can improve our democratic systems and processes especially when conducting our elections right from nominations, campaigns, voting and during the outcomes. Let us not focus only on how we can benefit economically through the Obama presidency but rather on building better democratic structures that will enable the Country to achieve economically. The Obama victory comes eleven Months after Kenya ’s elections whose results culminated to the worst violence which almost collapsed the Country. As a son of a Kenyan father, our political actors have a lot to learn about Obama’s victory more than their counterparts in other African Countries. The political systems in Kenya and most African Countries is one littered with injustice, dictatorship and election malpractises where those in power refuses to relinquish even when they are defeated fairly. Those who loose fairly don’t even concede defeat but often whine about it and even try to cripple the affairs of their Countries. We want to see a system where the losers concede just the way McCain did to Obama and pledged to work together for the benefit of the people of the United States. Besides the politicians, Kenyans who followed the election footage must learn to be calm and sober like most American voters. It was extremely rare to see hooliganism that we often experience during campaigns in Kenya . The voters gave candidates a chance to present their issues and at the end, we have seen the verdict. I have the audacity to believe that come 2012, Kenyan voters will elect leaders on the basis of what they stand for but not on how rich they are. Obama stood on the message of “hope” and “change”. He presented his facts, ideas and issues and the Americans developed confidence that he was ready to lead them. We have seen how Obama was able to build campaign machinery traversing the 50 states with the financial support of regular citizens who contributed as little as $ 50 dollars. We need to get rid of the notion of how wealthy you are to rise to national leadership. Instead, let us now begin to identify politically talented men and woman in our Country who can catapult our country politically. We have four more years to 2012. Obama started four years ago and he has reached the pinnacle of his career. Since the Americans have accommodated Obama who has Kenyan roots, we must reciprocate by accommodating leadership diversity in our land. People of European, Asian or even American decent with ambitions should run for political office or serve in government appointments if they have the skill and expertise. We don’t want to see the repeat of a situation where one of Safina party founders, environmentalist Richard Leakey was assaulted in Nakuru during the Kanu regime accused of troducing neo-colonialism in Kenya .
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