By Timothy Bosire
It was dumbfounding to hear some Kenyans claim that they support the attempt by some MPs to restrict candidacy for ‘ Parliament upwards’ to degree holders only, because they do not want illiterate leaders and MPs.
Put simply our MPs and these wananchi who were echoing this lopsided view were categorical that any Kenyan without a university degree is illiterate, ignorant and lacks leadership capacity. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
I love and respect education. I urge all Kenyans with ability and opportunity to pursue education to the highest levels possible. It will help them and it will benefit our country and mankind greatly.
But I do know that diploma holders and over 80% of our Form Four leavers are sufficiently literate to comprehend a lot of challenges, save for specific, technical and professional chapters. A university degree alone does not transform any human being into a leader nor make him a good representative of his countrymen to any forum.
By attempting this degree edict, our parliament, with all its majority university graduates, proved beyond reasonable doubt, our worst fears, that there are many ignorant and reckless university graduates in our midst masquerading as know-it-alls who if left unrestrained, can lead this country astray. They operate outside common sense and logic!
Thus, our perennial fear that Parliament could be more dangerous to the good of this country than most other threats is well founded. It is fast becoming the germ that will destroy this country; given the erratic and self-serving way it is handling implementation of the new constitution.
Parliament has lost track and arrogated itself powers and functions divorced from and above the original mandate as laid down in the Constitution. This is a clear case of a rogue servant often betraying the master (wananchi) at will for personal gain and glory to soothe the wild egos of 222 individuals.
abuse of office
The mistake, therefore, was pure furtherance of some MPs’ weird self-promotion into an isolated elite club that thinks it owns Kenya. A crude attempt to fence off membership to parliament, from the majority. A conversion of a national parliament from the House of Representatives that the people created to a private members club!
What are lacking in leadership and representation; not university degrees but integrity and virtue.
Parliament and most other public offices are unfortunately peopled by smartly dressed men and women who have often excelled in vices such as corruption, nepotism, negative ethnicity, fraud and abuse of office. Incidentally, most are holders of university degrees and even, PhDs.