Let not 2022 succession anxiety derail the peace
The political altercations witnessed within the Jubilee Party can only be considered unfortunate. They have suddenly jarred the calm that we were just about getting used to as a nation.
The consequence: a sudden sense of anxiety gripped many hearts and, most unfortunately, an ethnic narrative began to build up.
However, considering where we are as a nation – with a major leadership transition coming up in 2022 – the happenings should not completely shock us, let alone, derailus.
The drama we see in the political arena, and especially within the Jubilee Party, is perfectly normal. Leadership studies indicate that whenever an organisation or team is faced with a major leadership transition, there is usually a sense of angst that grips the hearts of its members, especially of key players.
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Towards the end of Jesus’ time on earth, He on several occasions made pronouncements about His imminent departure. Interestingly, the people who were most impacted by these declarations were the 12 disciples. What is even more interesting is how each of these Disciples reacted or responded to Jesus’ announcements.
Thomas sought to know how they could get to where Jesus was going. Jesus assured him that He was going to the Father but would come back for them. Philip then jumped in and requested to be shown the Father, perhaps hoping that he could circumvent the system and reconnect with Jesus through the Father.
The two brothers, James and John, on the other hand, got together with their mother and approached Jesus secretly to secure strategic positions for themselves in Jesus’ upcoming Kingdom. When word leaked out about the actions of James and John, the rest of the Disciples were greatly incensed. Jesus finally had to reassure His team that, whereas He was going away, He was not going to leave them as orphans. Instead, He had plans to send another Counsellor who would be with them until He returns.
Though Jesus’ assurance seemed to calm the nerves of a majority of the disciples, two remained unsettled. Judas, having been the treasurer of the team, may have imagined that his future was well secured. But now with Jesus leaving, he was seriously disappointed.
Call it quits
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He thus chose to make a little money out of the situation and then call it quits. Peter on the other hand could not take this “upuzi” (nonsense) of Jesus’ premature departure. Peter had abandoned his fishing business to join the Jesus movement; but now, in three short years, Jesus is about to leave them kwa mataa! He told Jesus to His face that He was going nowhere – not if it depended on him (Peter)! The argument that ensued between the two ended up with Jesus rebuking Peter, “Get behind me Satan!” Peter backed down, but he was not done.
When some time later soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter was determined to stop this bad game. He drew his sword and chopped off the ear of one of the soldiers in defence of his master.
But, Jesus stepped in and once again, He rebuked Peter, “Put back your sword, for all who live by the sword will die by the sword!” Jesus then put back the ear of the wounded man.
One wonders: what was all this drama about? It was the manifestation of the anxiety that grips people when faced with an uncertain future after the transition of a key leader – especially one in whom they have greatly pegged their hopes.
Jubilee members find themselves in an almost similar place. Those closest to the President are obviously the most hit by this reality and may not know how to behave. In dealing with their sense of angst, some are likely to speak out of turn, act crazy, or like Judas, pick what they can and call it quits. But there may be those who brazenly confront the President and tell him off on some issues.
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Like Jesus rebuked Peter, this cannot be acceptable. Of course, there are James and John whose only concern is strategic positioning in the upcoming kingdom. Though they may draw the ire of many, it is not unreasonable to seek the endorsement of the President.
Jesus, however, made it abundantly clear: Leadership is the preserve of God to grant. He favours you and you are home and dry. There is thus no need to bear the sword.
Accordingly, our sincere prayers are with the President who has the unenviable task of carefully dealing with these diverse interests so as to ensure the nation is not derailed and our peace is not breached.
- The writer is the Presiding Bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries. [email protected]
Jubilee Party2022 ElectionSuccession Politics