Dangling leadership carrot before women sign of desperation

The largest voting constituencies in Kenya are women and youth. Yet despite this, they are the least represented in terms of elective posts. The reason is simple; in a materialistic, patriarchal society where cultural norms deny women and youth economic empowerment, they get only what men allow them. In the political realm, Machiavellian misogynists hoard all the top positions, and the status quo is likely to continue through political deceit.

Despite having had more than six years to actualise the constitutional stipulation that no gender occupies more than two thirds of elective posts, all the Jubilee administration has demonstrated are perfunctory attempts designed to hoodwink the public. Despite Jubilee's numerical superiority in parliament, lack of quorum hit all parliamentary attempts to make the two-thirds, one-third representation a reality. This has been, and is likely to be the case for the remainder of Jubilee's term.

That there is the probability of having a woman running mate for the presidency in 2022 as some quarters have intimated is perhaps the biggest con game, especially with the rider; “Nothing is given on a silver plate. Women must work hard for the leadership of this country”. Indeed, nothing does, so women should be skeptical of the proposal on a woman running mate.

The power of money in a patriarchal society such as ours is that those who have it; the thieves, if Pierre Proudhon’s contention that property is theft is taken literally, are deified. They steal from public coffers, drop morsels here and there during campaigns, then romp home.

Threw caution

Where before conceit ruled and the 2022 Kenyatta succession seemed fait accompli, circumstances have changed for some individuals who must now re-strategize to keep hopes of ascendancy to the top seat in 2022 alive.  In politics, where cunning is the only virtue, showing ones hand too early is inadvisable, yet in all its exuberance, Deputy President William Ruto’s camp threw caution to the wind.

It became abrasive and aggressive as if it had an entitlement to the presidency.

In the process, it created more enemies in a single year than it could handle. However, it must have dawned on the belligerent camp that forces ganging up against it are formidable, for in recent times, there has been a complete change of pose. The loquacious among them have toned down and are no longer picking quarrels, especially after the spat with Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho seems to have pushed them into a corner, despite their false bravado.

Forays into Western Kenya to win strong allies hit a brick wall and all there is for Ruto there are political mendicants, as useless to him as they are to themselves. In Central Kenya, where Ruto had made some ground; again surrounded by political mendicants, a fissure miraculously occurred and swallowed some of his supporters. There is too much discontent in his backyard to even call it a stronghold but, like the Energizer battery advertisement of yore, Ruto is a believer in the ‘never say die’ motto; you can give him that.

Proffered crumbs

That said, the question arises; how many hapless politicians has Ruto promised the running mate ticket in 2022? Who remembers which of the myriad flowery promises Ruto ever gave has been fulfilled? That should cause any serious woman leader who aspires to the second highest office in the land to the possibility of deceit. With his chances getting hemmed, Ruto could be entertaining the hope that dangling a carrot before women would win him favour.

This attitude inadvertently betrays the low esteem in which some male leaders hold women; that they must be given to own, which is totally unacceptable. I have said it before, that women are their own worst enemies. They have the numbers.They have the votes and if their numerous ‘chamas’ are anything to go by, they have the unity, purpose and determination to succeed in whatever they put their minds to.

What stops women from propelling a fellow woman to State House? Ladies, say no to the insincerely proffered crumbs. There is any number of individuals who might be willing to fall for the offer, among them, Moses Kuria.

I love comedy, which is why I was thoroughly entertained when Moses Kuria threw his hat in the ring for the 2022 presidency recently. But don’t be fooled, he is not a moron.

He talks and acts weird sometimes, but I have come to appreciate all that could be calculated. Who holds it against a fellow who says something in a state of inebriation?

Kuria could be aware he has no chance of becoming president, but it only takes the decision of another to become Deputy President.

Kuria might be positioning himself to become Ruto’s running mate should the latter be forced into total desperation by a combination of ‘dynasties’ and other moneyed nemeses.

Mr Chagema is a correspondent at The [email protected]

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Two-thirds gener ruleGender Bill