Saturday, August 10, 2013
Uhuru and Ruto should choose between self and national good
By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
The current state of our nation begs for this critical question: how can a government led by sharp and fresh minds encounter too many false starts just 4 months after taking office? President Uhuru and his deputy took office with fervent optimism to lay a firm foundation that will transform Kenya into a regional hub for prosperity.
Is it lack of preparedness from the two leaders after the hotly contested election in March, if the emotions often exhibited by Ruto in Churches are given credence? The President and his deputy have in a couple of times stated publically that they never thought the Jubilee ticket would win the elections.
Another reason perceived to be behind the premature start by the government is the ICC cases facing the President and his deputy. With an imminent case in court, whether you have high chances of vindication, it’s normal to be nervous especially when you are accused of the worst crimes in the history of mankind. There is every reason for Uhuru and Ruto to worry about their future before they worry about the future of those they lead- Kenyans.
The above bring this critical point to the fore, who will bear the burden of leadership lapses when the President and his deputy will be attending court sessions in Europe? Suppose the citizens rise up and demand for the stepping down of the President and his deputy so that Kenyans can elect new leaders, will this be a popular decision?
Who is to blame for all the challenges bedeviling the new administration? Did Kenyans make a mistake to vote for Jubilee, or did the Judiciary err to give the Uhuru and Ruto, a free hand to vie for office?
The adage of new blooms sweep clean does not apply to the current government. When an infantile leadership still in a celebratory mode for victory fails to quell minor challenges, it leaves many Kenyans in Queer Street.
Majority of Kenyans knows the challenges of leadership but they need to see hope, like they did in 2002 when Narc under Kibaki, came to power. They need reassurance from the government that the myriad challenges they face will be tackled.
Kenyans want government to succeed by fulfilling the campaign promise they made. We don’t want see a situation where the words spoken by the former US secretary of State for African Affairs; John Carson before the last elections coming to fruition.
Despite the fierce court battle which followed the last elections, it will reflect us as a nation prone to doomed choices if the current government fails flat, thereby, justifying Mr. Carson’s warning of far-reaching consequences in the event Jubilee leaders were elected.
It’s upon the President and his deputy to weigh between what is good for them at individual level and 40 million Kenyans who rely on their leadership for the future of our nation. If the heat turns to be too high, resigning from office the way one of the USA Presidents; Richard Nixon did in 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal will be the best option so that Kenyans will get an opportunity to elect a new slate of leaders with less baggage to steer the nation forward.
We want to see our two leaders thaw the confusion in government. The imbroglio between the President and
Telecommunication companies over the ICC evidence, the discontent from governors over devolution, hostility from members of the public who are hard hit by the tough economy need to be addressed to build public confidence. Besides, we hope the doctors, lecturers, civil servants; the KDF who raised an alarm few days ago about their remuneration has been addressed by the government.
One of the worst challenges facing the government of Uhuru and Ruto is the polarized status of our nation. We are more disunited as a people more than 2008 when the country was embroiled in the post election violence. Ethnic disharmony is on high ebb and continues to be perfected by the government especially through allocation of senior government jobs with no regard to meritocracy, ethnic and regional balance.
How does it help to build ethnic harmony and a united nation, when the Head of anti-terrorism unit Boniface Mwaniki; CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro, Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau; KAA Chief Security Officer Eric Kiraithe; KAA GM Stephen Gichuki are the top names of the team tasked to investigate the JKIA fire tragedy; all from the President’s community?
There is no doubt about the knowledge level and professional prowess of the said individuals but truly, does this picture of open-nepotism boost the diversity of our nation?
Kenya is a nation of 42 ethnic communities but its worrying when 65% of the Jubilee Cabinet is comprised of people from Uhuru and Ruto’s communities. We also have big ethnic imbalance in the army and the national intelligence service.
How can the Jubilee government keep sacking people from perceived ant-government communities and expect not to face resistance? We cannot condone excuses from a government which is full of nepotism and instead of building bridges between the 42 Kenyan communities, its burning them down.
Just recently, the Secretary for labour Kazungu Kambi; sacked the NSSF managing Trustee Mr. Tom Odongo and replaced him with Hope Mwashumbe who is from his region. As if this was not enough, Mr. Zachary Ayieko from Kisii was shown the door as the CEO of Kenya Rural Electrification Authority and replaced with Ng'ang'a Munyu; the President’s tribeman.
If the Jubilee leadership cared about building a united voice after the disputed 4th March elections, professionals like Ole Kiyiapi, Martha Karua, Peter Kenneth, Eugene Wamalwa, and strong voices representing community interests like Abdalla Dida and Musalia Mudavadi should be at the help to help pacify current disunity in the Country.
Remember, Kambas, Kisiis, Luyias, Turkanas, Luos and majority of Coastalians are fully behind the political opposition yet Jubilee is in a spree of axing professionals from the said communities from public assignments and replacing them with their cronies.
Too bad for President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto. Truly, if the heat is too much for our two leaders as the signs reflect, the most honourable thing to do is to yield their positions to pave the way for an opportunity where Kenyans will elect a new slate of leaders able and ready to move the Country forward.