Kenyans must prepare to interfere with cycle of deceptive leadership

COLUMNISTS |

Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga during the launch of the BBI report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

In Kenya, lies are increasingly becoming a national language. Some have even adopted lies as their native language. They are self-proclaimed members of the liars tribe that speak lies fluently.

This tribe has both the poor and the rich as members. The oddity is that being a member of the tribe does not insulate them against being lied to inside the tribe. Actually, some of the heavy lies projects have pitted members of the lying tribe against each other. 

Sometimes liars will use truth for transactional purposes. This is the reasoning behind “toboa!” (expose!). Members of the same deception party have many facts about each other. This secret knowledge is what unites some in secret societies. Truth defies transactional use. Like the wind the blows wherever it wills, so is truth. It cannot be controlled by anyone. Truth is free.

What deceivers present are appearances of truth. Interestingly, truth is essential even for the deceiver. A good liar needs constant briefings on the truth. Only in knowing the truth can the deceivers negate it. Generations of Kenyans have heard and put hope in countless promises over the last 58 years. Some of the promises have been of grand stature. Then, why are we still here – struggling with the basics and moving slowly due to chains of debt?

It is because the promises were never made to be fulfilled. They promise-makers never meant to keep them. They were means to an end. The campaign season has started early–and we are officially in the lying season. Though unspoken, the undercurrent mantra is, “Deceive and rule” and “May the best deceiver win!”

Many Kenyans have been convinced that to be a politician you must a good liar. You have to be an honours graduate of the deception school. You have to be under the mentorship of the best in the lie-sphere. In appreciation, you must pass on this lying heritage to some bright young minds to perpetuate the falsehood lineage.

Kenyans have so many questions. But the answers come from controlled environments or are ignored altogether. A huge crop of the present leaders hate truth. Instead, they dispense their own versions. Kenya would be so much better with leaders who embrace truth.

Truth is the exorcist who will evacuate us from the fangs of this impoverishing falsehood. It is time to undertake a daring experiment of politics in truth. For this to be, truth needs disciples.

Some people have been discouraged and told, “you are too good for politics.” What does this mean? One, is that good people are seen to be too gentle for the brute in politics. Two, that the good makes those that have mastered lies uncomfortable.

Truthful persons build truthful systems; deceptive people build deceptive systems. Truthful systems improve life. Deceptive systems are coded to oppress. Liars only lie. If an aspirant is already associated with criminal activities before the elections, then their motivation to gain power is partly inspired by that criminal nature.

To expect nobility from them is to be deceived. In the hands of peddlers of deception, the country suffers from an acute truth-deficiency syndrome. Wanjiku’s hope is strangled. It is time to interfere with the cycle of deceptive leadership. As the old deception school is contextualizing its deception, disciples of truth must plan the launch of their interruptive experiment. It is time to put faces to champions of truth. 

Truth is to be revered. Truth demands vigorous introspection. The aspirant must vigorously engage their motives. Why I’m running? If it is for pride, power, popularity or personal prosperity then these motives need to be further refined. The most compelling reason to run for public office is to improve the lives of the people; everything else is a consequence. While a person may have multiple motives, the one that must tower above all is to be an agent of abundant life for the people.

Often in our political arrangement, the Opposition is supposed to check the government of the day. Checking means placing the government’s dealings before the mirror of truth to reveal weakness and wickedness. No wonder it is the dream of every ruler to have no Opposition. Whoever succeeds in killing the auditors need not be concerned about the truth. But even on a good day, the Opposition is still a deep political zone. They too need to be checked. This necessitates space for truth couriers outside the political system.

It is difficult to consistently associate truth with whole institutions. Even in the church, truth-saying is often associated with individuals–persons unable to live with themselves when lies are spoken while truth stands in the open. Truth-bearers are loved by the people but hated by the system.

A system unable to coexist with the truth deploys all its machinery to cripple the voice of the truth. This deception school intentionally shatters the mirror of truth and produces its own versions of its truth. Many would want truth to recede and its preachers give up. But truth has a way of remaining unbroken.

Truth must matter. Truth delivers its victories in favour of justice and in liberation of the oppressed. Truth coordinates both the natural justice in contemporary life as well as the ultimate justice from which no evil will skip unjudged. At one point, every lie must give in to truth. Politically, truth need not get into a contest. And even when it finds itself in a contest, it need not win. Truth may seem to lose, but one thing is sure: it controls how the script will end.

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