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Go high Mr President. Go high!

By Yvonne Okwara | Published Mon, March 13th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 12th 2017 at 23:13 GMT +3

Let’s review the recent outbursts by the President. The latest one being in Turkana where he referred to someone as ‘shetani mjinga’. There has been an argument about who exactly he was referring to. Some people think it was the Governor Josphat Nanok or perhaps ODM leader Raila Odinga who was in the area just two weeks earlier. But it matters little who the remarks were directed at.

The fact is that the President referred to a certain Kenyan as a ‘stupid devil!’ Please feel free to translate it into your own language - it must be much worse.

Some have said the President was merely expressing himself, I have even heard some argue that other leaders have said the same kind of things if not worse and that somehow this is much ado about nothing.

But, let's all pause for a moment; this is His Excellency the Head of State. President of all 40million plus Kenyans; Commander-in-Chief, Baba wa Taifa, the symbol of national unity in the words of our constitution, the man many young boys across the country would like to become. Surely there must be other ways to express disagreement with someone.

If you think this was bad, what of the statement he made on return from the ICC? Words I cannot even dare repeat.

I thought many people listened to Michelle Obama when she made that iconic statement at the height of the US campaigns in 2016 – she said "When they go low, we go high." How I wish that could be said of the President of the Republic of Kenya.

It now seems that the anger is even beginning to take a toll even on the President's sense of fact. In his Turkana tirade, he claimed that on the division of resources from oil, he merely signs laws that have been passed by parliament and has no choice or control over the matter.

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Well, the fact is, Article 115 gives the President immense powers to either assent to a bill or refer it back to parliament for reconsideration. Contrary to his statement, he did in fact use this very powers to reject the bill on sharing of revenues from the oil in Turkana. He sent it back to parliament with the recommendation to reduce the shared revenue from 10% to just 5% of the proceeds. So it is being economical with the truth to lay this all on parliament.

Public anger it appears can be quite costly. The President who is a candidate in this year's election, even went ahead to tell the people of Turkana that life would go on without their votes. Indeed it will, they now have a devolved system of government that has done in just four years what all the national governments haven't managed in 50 years.

Some now say they do not even think about Nairobi anymore. But just what became of the so-called National Covenant the President spoke so passionately about during his State of the Nation address last year? As he prepares for yet another address, I can only say: Go high Mr. President. Go high!

That’s My Take!


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