Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kenya desperately need selfless leaders

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
The myriad problems that face our Country ranging from the economy, social and political spheres require leaders who are more concerned about the citizens than themselves.

Such leaders must pour their lives for effective public duty to enhance the lives of Kenyans than themselves. It requires more than mere rhetoric to tackle the high poverty rate, inflation, skyrocketing of prices for essential goods, insecurity and crime. It requires an inner passion driven by compassion, empathy, dedication and human love.

Political leaders hold the most important job roles in any Country. The policies they make affect even the most valuable professionals in the society like: Doctors, Surgeons, Dentists, Accountants, Engineers, and Pilots. This is an indicator that they are responsible for millions of people's lives including their own.

Leaders in our Country are not dedicated to their roles in the society. Even those elected from their regions do not point the priority areas that need to be addressed. We lack a contingency plan as a Country. That is why; we always address symptoms instead of the causes. We don’t get a remedial strategy from the leaders until people start starving to death especially during the onset of famine.

Sections of the media carried out footage about the famine in Turkana and Ukambani and for those who saw, it was a terrifying experience. I shed tears and wished I had the capacity to ease the pain I saw in the people. Ironically, one of the leaders from Turkana who is also a Cabinet Minister recently bought a Chopper worthy Millions of Shillings.

This was an absolute lack of wisdom, humanity and empathy. Such leader doesn’t deserve to be elected to Parliament, leave alone being given Ministerial duties in any government. How do you buy a luxury like a Helicopter when your people are starving to death; eating herbs like goats?

Even though the Minister has a right to own any luxury, human life is of cardinal importance compared to a Chopper. People look forward to him as rekindles of their hopes; expecting him to serve them with humility and mercy.

Kenyans are suffering in the middle of plenty on a few hands. Even in Ukambani, we have rich men and women in the current leadership who have not taken any initiative to address the scourge of famine in the region.

To significantly rejuvenate the standard of living for Kenyans,page content we must be absolutely sure that those we elect to office are capable of doing the right job. We must assess their wisdom and understanding of the current challenges that our people face.



footer (site informatiWe must make sure that they really do have the skills for the job and are capable of being great leaders; advocating for what is popular and good to the masses. The mistake we make is to elect leaders on the basis of what they own, like the Turkana politician; he will use the Chopper to fly around the constituency luring people to vote for him.



We face many challenges in this country because the people we maintain in national leadership do not have a passion to serve. They don’t care about what happens around them so long as it doesn’t affect their immediate family.

Last week, the USA government, faced with dwindling Stock Trading, went a head to vote in Congress in order to inject Millions of Dollars to resuscitate their financial Markets. This is the surest way for leaders to attack problems before it becomes chronic and end up affecting our national good.

Politics has been taken as an avenue for riches and fame. Public duty; the genesis of any leadership calling does not augur in the minds of current and aspiring leaders. Even those who are blessed with plenty and riches do not care about the poor in the society. I admire the United States system where aspiring leaders are often grilled over their contributions to charitable causes.

Quite often, leaders with generosity often advocate for policies that benefit the entire society. It must also be understood that political leaders who often put the interests of others above there own are often the best in the World.

It was a great sacrifice and a reflection of selflessness that Nelson Mandela, of South African suffered for 27 year to liberate his Country. In Kenya , the legendary, late Member of Parliament for Nyandarua North, JM Kariuki exhibited rare qualities in political leadership for his advocacy on matters that affected the poor. Do the leaders we have today exhibit JM’s love and gusto to fight for the people, regardless of who they are? Certainly not.

In the wisdom of Martin Luther King Junior, the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. We saw a laid back attitude from our key leaders when the Country was facing the highest challenges early this year. It took the wisdom of outsiders to get our Country back to the track.

True leaders must radiate a selfless image; working diligently to change the lives of others based on mercy a caring heart, and a willing spirit. They must be driven by the qualities of character and integrity; avoiding the temptation to misuse their authority in their public life.

Leadership is about Values pegged on humility, caring, compassion and human love to the ruled. Anything outside this is mere self gratification and egocentricity.

True leadership entails guidance, effective management, discernment of circumstances and problem solving with a heart and willingness to change a situation that distracts the lives of those he leads. Any leader who puts a dark curtain to the problems bedevilling the country lacks the legitimacy to be called a leader.
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