A couple of weeks ago I wrote to your opponent in Chief the Right Honourable Raila Odinga. As the year starts kindly allow me the privilege of penning a few words to you. I pray that one day someone who has access to you will read this piece and that some of what I say will enrich your decisions.
Firstly, have no doubt in your mind, you were duly and properly elected by the people of Kenya to be their President. Your supporters know it, and yes, even your opponents know it. The August 8th elections were technically some of the best we will ever have and whatever deficiencies were there did not unduly benefit you; they were just part of an imperfect electoral system manned by imperfect people. Of course, the governance system that we currently have gave you a distinct advantage, but you cannot be faulted for that. Having said that, you must also know a significant portion of the country does not accept you as their President. This may have little meaning and impact in law and many in your corner will urge you to ignore this reality and just move on but I urge you to reflect very seriously on how to court that portion of Kenya.
I would suggest that as a sign of good intentions you set up a Ministry to focus solely on national reconciliation. I do not believe a Ministry will immediately convert us to a united Kenya but it will send the message that you intend to make this a key focus of your administration. The little I know of you is that to the extent that it depends on you, you will invest in reconnecting us into a more perfect union.
Secondly Mr President, I was excited to see you define your legacy in four distinct agendas. These agendas are at the core of what matters to the average citizen. Housing, food security, health and manufacturing if prioritised, will transform this nation to the heights it so deserves. I would have added water but then this is your programme so I will live with the four. There are however two developmental softwares that will make these objectives even easier to achieve. In the first instance, you must clamp down on wastage and corruption. It does not matter how much you push these agendas if you don’t ensure that resources are not being pilfered or wasted. In the second instance you must find a more efficient and effective way of working with the county governments, in whose domain most of these issues are reposed, to achieve these agendas.
Thirdly Mr President, each of the four big agendas will impact the youth in some way but I suggest that you make the re-generation of the youth a distinct principal focus of your final term. By all accounts you are a young President, at least at heart. We would wish to remember you as the President who finally cracked the youth conundrum. And it is not rocket science. I was one of those that felt dismayed when you listened to the voice of your detractors and largely demolished the NYS programme. Granted there were challenges in its administration, but if that was the basis for jettisoning programmes you would have no programme going on today. Compared to other programmes in your government, the losses at NYS, while unfortunate were minuscule. All you needed was reorganise the management of the programme but keep its brand and focus and our youth would be at a different place today.
Finally, Mr President, I know that in appointing your team you have to consider so many interests some of which produce unfortunate compromises. Can I suggest that you allocate only a third of your Cabinet to meet those necessary compromises? Then fill the balance with people to inspire us? People who can truly help you deliver a Kenya we can believe in? I do wish you the best for I know that if you succeed, Kenya will have succeeded.
- The writer is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya