Tuesday, August 10, 2010



By Jerry Okungu

Nairobi, Kenya

August 10, 2010

This article is a painful one. Under normal circumstances I would not even bother with it but it pains me that at a point when we should look to the future with hope and optimism, we are busy looking back to where we have come from- Sodom and Gomorrah with the temptation of Lot’s wife.

It is painful to see young and well educated Kenyans refusing to grow out of the ideology of Moism where mediocrity, incompetence, plunder of national resources and sycophancy are the three most important credentials to public leadership. For how else can any sane educated Kenyan in this day and age publicly advocate for a retired president such as Moi, a retired politician such as Nyachae or a serving County Council chairman who presides over incorrigibly corrupt local authorities to be the champions of change we have suffered for all these decades?

Listen to what Kenya’s cabinet minister wants to introduce as good leadership in the new Kenya:

“Nairobi Cosmopolitan Minister Robinson Githae has proposed that retired President Moi be elected unopposed as the Senator of the Nakuru Country when the new constitution is fully implemented. Githae told residents that by electing Moi unopposed, they stand a chance to benefit more from the same zeal he has demonstrated in supporting and protecting Rift Valley as a province. He added that contrary to past records of the area being perceived as an eviction zone, if they elected Moi, Nakuru would become an attraction to investors due to Moi’s committed leadership and the ability to implement and encourage outsiders to invest.”

In Robinson Githae’ s mind, the definition of the success of future counties must depend on the type of zeal Moi has displayed from time to time in protecting the Rift Valley Province as a single unit. In Githae’s estimation, Moi is the only person in Nakuru that can be considered a committed leader with ability to implement and encourage outsiders to invest in Nakuru. How noble a thought! Moi must be smiling quietly wherever he is reading that story.

Githae seems to have forgotten that Moi’s Kabarak home is just a stone throw away from Nakuru town and for a quarter century, Nakuru was the seat of power under Moi. How come there was no tangible development and investment in the town? How come the streets of Nakuru including the CBD are still the same size as they were in 1974 except that now they are more congested and controlled by kiosk owners and hawkers? What would Moi do in his 80s and 90s which he couldn’t do in his 50s, 60s and 70s? Our leaders need to be serious with this new constitution and need to think through before they pick up the microphone.

As Robinson Githae was campaigning for Moi to be elected Senator in Nakuru, sharp differences were emerging among close allies of William Ruto over the proposed Uasin Gishu County. Wareng councilors were busy wrangling over who is fit to run for governor of the proposed county in 2012. Some councilors are already reported to be supporting the current Wareng County Council Chairman, Paul Kiprop while others are rallying behind the Eldoret North CDF Chairman, Isaac Maiyo.

Yet the counties were created to consolidate resources and choose leaders based on credentials that are yet to be legislated so that efficiency, good financial management and self sustainability can begin to be realized in these devolved units. If we are going to transfer incompetence from the current local authorities to the counties then we might as well say good bye to reforms even in the Second Republic.

However, the one request that beat them all was the plea by some Nyachae sycophants in Gusi land recently during the referendum campaign when President Kibaki held a rally in the area. Local residents petitioned Mwai Kibaki to ensure that Simeon Nyachae was nominated to the senate unopposed to reward him for his service to Kibaki and the people of Gusi for many decades. They told Kibaki that the county would most effectively be represented in the senate if Nyachae was their representative.

Surely, Nyachae like Moi and Kibaki have been in politics for close to half a century. Kibaki himself is retiring. Moi supposedly retired from politics in 2002 and is openly enjoying his pension courtesy of the state. Nyachae retired from politics in 2007 after losing elections and is also on pension as a former civil servant and a former legislator. If these are the people we are still married to as our ultimate in public leadership when we know their lackluster record, can we genuinely claim that there is a future for this country?

Please give us a break you believers of the old order. We need time to consolidate our new constitution and move on with our lives!