Monday, November 12, 2012

Namwamba and Neto should drive the reform path

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo New Jersey, USA Published on 9/20/12 7:13 PM The elevation of Budalangi MP, Ababu Namwamba to the Cabinet and the victory Agostino Neto’s as MP for Ndhiwa has set a dramatic scenario for youth leadership in the Country. This is because; both legislators are young, pragmatic, knowledgeable and share a common virtue in advancing the reform agenda, transformative leadership and strengthening democratic leadership and governance which is in tandem with the current constitution. The Kenyan youth from all walks of life expect honourable Namwamba to shepherd the Ministry of Youth and Sports to greater heights. They also expect Neto, who is a product of the Civil Society and fighter for Social justice to reflect the same set of ideals while in the national assembly. Having a youthful Cabinet Minister, associated with addressing the aspirations and predicaments of young people in the nation is a great stride. We therefore hope that the Budalangi MP will work independently and remain passionate with the plight of the youth. However, despite this positive stride, many Kenyans still remain apprehensive with the performance of youthful legislators. Those whom we expected to foster a new social, political and economic order have reneged the covenant they established with Kenyans after being voted to power. It’s not private that honourable Eugene Wamalwa, who is youthful, and Minister of Justice and constitutional affairs’ pronouncements have often shown him as a defender of what is good for his political survival and not the interests of the nation. If he is not about his tribesman getting chance to sleep in State House, he is busy misinterpreting the law- a clear sign that he is not ready to help us overcome impunity in the Country. In Parliament, majority of youthful legislators have either become ardent protectors of the status quo or are too ethnically inclined, self centred, corrupt and therefore perpetuating the old order and its ills. Where is honourable Cecily Mbarire, whom like Agostino Neto was a product of Civil Society? Where are Mwangi Kiunjuri, Joshua Kutuny, Gideon Sonko and Peter Munya? They all rose to the helm from humble backgrounds but have undergone a complete metamorphosis; always showing sycophancy and ethnic chauvinism. Have we killed our past and are busy killing the future as Francis Imbuga; puts it in his Play, Betrayal in City? Will Kenyans trust the Youth for national leadership if we take stock of what they do in Kenya’s current political climate? What happened to honourables Milly Odhiambo, Elizabeth Ongoro and Rachel Shebesh? All we see them do is dance a litany of survival. They follow the boss’s rhythm without showing their talent and creativity despite their massive knowledge. For them, what bedevils the nation is secondary. Is this what we expected from young MPs in the August House when they should toil and moil for the success of Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals? Soon, honourable Namwamba will be sworn in. We hope he will help the nation understand what happened to the Youth Enterprise Fund which is managed through the office of the Prime Minister who is his boss. We also hope that the able and charismatic lawyer will be integral and stand with the Youth of Kenya. Youthful leaders have consistently betrayed the people of Kenya. In the last elections, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, dethroned himself as leader of official opposition to support the re-election of President Kibaki. The Gatundu South MP left about 1.8 Million Kenyans who voted for him in 2002 in suspense; putting multiparty democracy in dire straits. I wonder if his move was for the benefit of the Kenyan youth. In 1992, political opportunism drove youthful Cyrus Jirongo, Isaac Ruto, William Ruto and Sam Nyamweya to use dubious means to sneak Moi back to power through the YK92 lobby group. In fact, when Ruto joined Moi to campaign against the passage of the current constitution, it was a repeat of what they did 18 years earlier during the first multiparty elections but this time round; Kenyans who desperately wanted the new constitution defeated them. Its high time youthful leaders seized the moment to catalyse the reform agenda for the nation. They should nurture a leadership culture which will promote a new social, political, and economic order for Kenya and Africa. We have sung “change” for many decades and the young should help effect it to the fullest. We contend that all humans have imperfections but the new generation of leaders like Agostino Neto, Ababu Namwamba and others should think more about Kenya’s future than the self. Not every Kenyan will be President or MP but for those God has bestowed with these responsibilities, they should serve with dedication and commitment in order to leave Kenya better, wealthy and healthy. If the words of Frantz Fanon should carry meaning, then the new generation of leaders in Kenya must discover their mission, fulfill it, or betray it. After all, it’s our actions which will define the quality and not the quantity we shall be remembered for and therefore, our immortality. Published on 9/20/12 7:13 PM
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