Your Excellency, our country is slowly but surely burning in all aspects that mould our national fibre. The current political climate is not conducive
Grace and mercy be upon you and your government. Happy Lenten season.
It is after much reflection on the state of this country that I have found the strength to write to you. Like children in a troubled marriage, Kenyans are worried and apprehensive about your government and your relationship with your deputy. When you both were elected, many Kenyans, and especially the young people, had great hope in you. Your vision and promises made Kenyans believe in your presidency.
The chemistry between you and your deputy redefined our leadership; kneeling for prayers during your inauguration, addressing the nation together dressed in similar fashion was unprecedented.
But what we see today is a pale shadow of that. The effect of this will affect generations to come since our senior most leaders are teaching our youth to be disloyal.
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Your Excellency, our country is slowly but surely burning in all aspects that mould our national fibre. The current political climate is not conducive at all. Your election as president depended on the support of Hon William Ruto since you were voted as a duo. You, therefore, both have a symbiotic relationship.
How do you allow your ministers to say publicly that they were “...appointed by the president and are answerable only to him,” with no regard for the deputy president and Parliament? Where do they find such courage? When the deputy president says something to the effect that “...unless you kill me, I will not be afraid,” where does that leave the nation? We can tell that your government is split down the middle.
Your Excellency, we salute you for reaching out to Hon Raila Odinga on March 9, 2018; the gesture is welcome. But with all the good of the handshake, it has induced confusion to your leadership. The opposition provides the checks and balances that hold the government accountable. This is an important role that Raila has played in the past.
Today we have lost that. Personally, I am happy with the cooperation between the government and the opposition, however, the latter should not be ‘swallowed’ and silenced. Your deputy is seeking public sympathy because you have abandoned him to the jaws of the opposition. The altercations between the two sides are not good for the nation. It is high time you rose to the occasion and offered political guidance. Find it in you the need to sort out your issues with your deputy; this washing of dirty linen in public is not good for the nation.
To date, the famous Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has become a political tool rather than an opportunity for dialogue. There is very little civic education on the BBI, if any. Politicians are only interested in securing their political power and influence. When we question the BBI, we are not opposed to it. Rather, we want to understand its content and spirit.
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Anyone who questions it is seen as an enemy and branded as supporting a certain political divide. Kenyans cannot reconcile the contents of the BBI and the BBI rallies. What Kenyans are looking for is an affordable government that can be held accountable; an imperial president that the current Constitution has created is a danger to the nation. I call for an issue-based referendum after a stakeholders' conference that will come up with the questions. A ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ referendum should be highly discouraged.
Leadership is about vision. As a leader, you need to keep your vision alive to the citizens. This is where your government is scoring poorly. Your Excellency, what will you be remembered for? What happened to the Big Four agenda? Every Kenyan was sure that your legacy will be defined by the four, namely affordable housing, affordable healthcare, infrastructure and food security. That agenda has been swallowed by the BBI noise.
If the BBI was managed properly, your government had an opportune moment to bring the desired economic and political changes of cohesion and ethnic balance. It is paramount, therefore, to move with speed and reclaim the nation back to the vision. We call for an independent audit on the government loans to ascertain their legality. We suspect that Kenya is paying some fictitious loans to enrich a few people in government. Please do not leave Kenyans poorer than you found them!
To the deputy president, you come out as someone who is defiant to his boss. Every weekend you are in a fundraising for either a church or school. Your generosity is outstanding; however it raises the questions of your motivation and the source of your resources. The president said you like ‘kutanga tanga’ everywhere; this was an indictment of you and an expression of displeasure on your performance.
Although you used this to your advantage politically, this has heightened the political temperature in the country with the 2022 election politics. Though you have not declared your interest for the top seat, it is known from your political agents who speak in your presence without you disputing. My humble advice; be loyal to the president.
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Remember, you are part of the presidency, therefore work out your differences with your boss and support him fully. Do not make Raila your enemy; the three of you can bring transformation in Kenya.
These are my considered opinions.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish...” Proverbs 29:18.
Very Rev Canon Wainaina is the Provost of All Saints Cathedral