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Why voters should elect leaders with a clear vision for this country

By - Machel Waikenda | January 6th 2013

By Machel Waikenda

Leaders we chose must have delivered excellence in small departments they have led in the past for us to expect them to deliver the same for the entire country

As pre-election alliances prepare to face off and seek to form the next Government, the main question is just which combination will deliver the leadership our country desires.

The battle lines are clearly drawn. It is a contest between the Jubilee Coalition comprised of The National Alliance, (TNA) United Republican Party (URP), and Narc and Coalition of Reforms for Democracy (CORD) comprised of Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). There is obviously the third force.

The bottom line, however, is which combination has capacity to effectively take this country where it wants to go. Who can deliver excellence?

But even as we discuss this question, it is fundamentally worthwhile to understand that if we are going to achieve excellence as a country, then we need to judge leaders by their past records because the leaders we chose must have delivered excellence in small departments they have led in the past for us to expect them to deliver the same for the entire country. Success for Kenya, good people, is not an exception but a prevailing attitude.

For starters, in case you did not notice, the Jubilee team has the necessary fundamentals of a worthwhile political party already settled, if voted into power, the Jubilee coalition has the potential to create unprecedented ethnic harmony based on its diverse ethnic, regional and gender representation.

It is worth noting that among the principals in the CORD, unlike in the Jubilee, claims to represent reformers, and noting that gender parity is one of the key issues in the Constitution, none is a female, our women in this country have no reasons to trust anybody who has not shown in any practical way to have their interest at heart.

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The importance of ethnic cohesion for the country cannot be over-emphasised considering the sad history of ethnic conflicts our country has witnessed in the past years.

Clearly, Kenya is not a theatre room, the work ahead is not about drama and excitement, it requires credible leaders who have shown demonstrated performance in public service.

The leaders seeking public office must be judged based on their past record; the score must be based on how much each one of them did for Kenyans when they had a chance.

As the Minister for Finance, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta introduced several groundbreaking policies and allocated necessary finances to boost the country’s economy.

Uhuru, who is also the Jubilee Coalition presidential candidate, came up with what is largely known as SME’s and Kazi kwa Vijana among others.

Little did Kenyans know that as Uhuru and his officers were busy looking for money to finance Kazi Kwa Vijana so that young jobless people could get some employment, officials at the office of the Prime Minister were busy planning how to steal that money and eventually, young, jobless and innocent vijana of this country lost that funding to few, corrupt individuals.

Uhuru’s running mate and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, noting that Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy, ensured that farming became more productive and cheaper by ensuring availability of fertiliser to farmers at a cheaper price when he was the minister for Agriculture.

But his boss then, felt Ruto’s performance was increasingly becoming wonderful and consequently noticeably to the Kenyan people.

But there was a problem, ODM felt that Ruto’s performance was earning him considerable credit from Kenyans, they fired him. Clearly, for those who fired Ruto then, performance in his docket could have been alright but it was not a priority. He was not supposed to perform better than his boss then, he was supposed to remain quiet and lazy if need be but not do anything that could earn him better credit than his party leader.

However controversial this may be, it is a fact, those were the circumstances under which Ruto was fired and everything else was drama for public relations.

Similarly, CORD presidential candidate running mate and Vice- President Kalonzo Musyoka’s differences with Jubilee’s Charity Ngilu has its genesis on performance.

As minister for Water, Ngilu ensured that the perennially drought hit Ukambani region got some water for irrigation.

But there was again another problem here; the person who had previously served in the Cabinet for over 20 years in different portfolios had nothing to show for it, Ngilu has performed splendidly despite being in Cabinet for less than ten years.

Clearly, the trio, Uhuru, Ruto and Ngilu have gone considerable wary to show true commitment in public service, they are a combination of leaders with a broad and deep knowledge of Government responsibility and impeccable record of real accomplishment.

We need leaders with a clear vision for the country, we need leaders who think of how life even in slums can be improved in terms of housing and in all other aspects.

For instance, the biggest slum in the country Kibera is still what it was in the 1970s.

The only difference despite having been represented by a Member of Parliament, who has had a chance to serve in various powerful positions in the Government including being a major decision maker as coalition partner, is that it has grown bigger over time and as a result, life in that slum has become even more difficult. We need change that we can believe in.

The writer is the Director of Communications of The National Alliance. He can be contacted through e-mail; [email protected]


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