SECTIONS

Jubilee has squandered goodwill

The 2013 General Election ushered the Jubilee administration to power against the backdrop of monumental challenges that threatened its survival. Many pundits and "prophets" predicted Jubilee would run into a whirlwind of administrative crises and perhaps succumb to pressure. As the Jubilee government struggled to gain traction in providing leadership and governance, self-inflicted challenges that were multiplying by day submerged it, but it maintained a denial attitude.

Yet, the Supreme Court had just declared the coalition of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto the winner on the heels of a disputed election that raised legitimacy questions. The election provoked resentment along tribal lines.

Sadly, instead of forming an all-inclusive government to reflect the face of Kenya and heal election wounds, the Jubilee administration was perceived to have formed a government that prominently consisted of two tribes. This perception pushed the nation into a hole of ethnocentric cynicism.

At this point in time, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were (and Ruto still is) facing the "worst of the worst"; crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC). To date, the ICC narrative continues to dominate national conversations and has ultimately distracted Jubilee administration from conceptualising transformative agenda for the nation. We are stuck in the ICC mud.

Before the Jubilee administration took over power, ICC cases were considered "personal challenges". But when the Jubilee coalition became the government, ICC cases somehow morphed into national challenges. Unshackling Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto from the ICC chains of shame became the most compelling agenda of the government.

Meanwhile, unprecedented insecurity that claimed more than a thousand lives and left lasting scars to thousands of Kenyans became the hallmark of Jubilee administration. From terrorist attacks to petty crimes, insecurity spiraled out of control. Investor confidence nosedived and unemployment skyrocketed with tourism grinding to a halt.

Under the Jubilee administration, unabated corruption of historic proportion is chocking life out of our country. Even the international community has raised serious concerns. US ambassador to Kenya Mr Robert Godec described corruption in Kenya as a "crisis." Sadly, Jubilee administration remains indifferent. Even president Kenyatta, who promised to wage war against corrupt officials, has failed.

Kenyatta is standing aside and looking helplessly as leaders blunder in shaping public policies and plunder public resources with impunity. Jubilee administration has turned Kenya into a land of scandals where corruption is rewarded but hard work and honesty are dejected.

Despite these earthshaking challenges, the star of goodwill still illumined the path of Jubilee administration. Kenyans kept their faith. They gave jubilee administration a second chance to reconfigure its agenda. Even the harshest critics of the Jubilee administration started mellowing down.

Uhuru's little but profound acts of public relations; dancing in public, grabbing a bite and a drink in places frequented by ordinary Kenyans, sympathising with and sponsoring children from poor backgrounds and mimicking US President Barack Obama in style humanised him and demystified Kenya's omnipotent presidency under which Kenya's potential was retarded even as it enhanced goodwill for the Jubilee administration.

Moreover, the coming to Kenya of Mr Obama gave a strong vote of confidence to President Kenyatta and showered the Jubilee administration with extravagant goodwill. Obama's presence coupled with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi focused the world's attention on Kenya.

International investors developed interest in Kenya. Image denting narratives that more often than not ruin Kenya's image abroad were demystified. Even CNN apologised for misreporting Kenya. Jubilee's goodwill went up.

The upcoming visit by Pope Francis will not only boost confidence in Kenya, but offer a golden opportunity for Kenyans to reflect inwardly. The visit will promote goodwill for the Jubilee administration and put Kenya on the global map as an emerging country in Africa.

Sadly, the Jubilee administration hasn't taken advantage of the national and international goodwill to end corruption, spur economic growth, create employment opportunities, reconcile the nation and promote Kenya's image abroad. It is an unforgivable sin that the Jubilee administration squandered enormous goodwill that would have transformed and set Kenya on a path to social and economic prosperity.