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When ruling a country sometimes goes horribly wrong

By Julie Masiga | Jun 6th 2017 | 3 min read

“A true and safe leader is likely one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and by the pressure of an external situation.”

That’s a quote by American theologian, the late A. W. Tozer. Born in 1897. Died in 1963, just 66 years old. A young man by Kenyan standards. Here, men in their 50s are still considered youthful leaders. And those in their 70s can still aspire to leadership.

But speaking of Tozer, he was also a pastor, a teacher, and a prolific author. Some thought him to be so wise that they called him a modern-day prophet. Going by this quote alone, he certainly was not a man lacking in wisdom.

The best leaders are often those who have no desire to lead. The ones who had leadership thrust upon them while they were minding their own business. Folks who pursue leadership for its own sake are dangerous.Take Donald Trump for instance.

He said he wanted to make America great again, but it turns out he had just one American in mind: Himself. The first hundred or so days of his presidency have shown him to be dangerously self-absorbed. His outlandish claims about, well, just about everything, have led some to label him psychotic.


Psychoanalysts have even called him a narcissist. The simple definition of a narcissist is a person who is overly self-involved, vain and selfish. Some narcissists can become angry, anxious and depressed if the feedback they receive from their environment does not match their inflated sense of self.

Which could be why some of the latest reports coming out of the White House allege that the president is lonely, angry and unhappy. Speaking to CNN, a source said that Trump lives within himself; a dangerous place for him to be. The source goes on to say that the president is emotionally withdrawing and gaining weight.To be fair, hardly does a day go by without Trump being roundly criticised for something he has said or done. Most recently he’s been slammed for his decision to abandon the Paris climate accord. The Paris agreement was signed by 196 countries in 2015; countries which committed themselves to adopting green energy sources, cutting down on climate change emissions, limiting the rise of global temperatures, and moderating the impact of unavoidable climate change.

The accord acknowledged that the threat of climate change was “urgent and potentially irreversible”. But yeah, Trump believes that climate change and global warming are a hoax. Hoax or not, his decision to disengage from the accord has generated a lot of heat. Combined with the continuing Russia controversy, and the steady stream of goofs and gaffes flowing from the White House, it is no wonder that the president is isolating himself and eating his feelings. And here he thought that being president would be easier than being an entitled billionaire. Oh, well.

As it turns out, Kenya is one of the 196 nations that signed the Paris agreement. We signed it and we ratified it and yet last month our government entered into a Sh206 billion power deal with a Chinese company to build a coal plant in Lamu. President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed the signing of the deal between China Power Global and Kenya’s Amu Power in Beijing. Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter has said that the project will put the country on the path to industrialisation.

That would be true if this was the 18th Century and we were still in the Industrial Revolution. But here in the 21st Century, from a country that has enough geothermal, solar, hydro, and wind potential not only be self-sufficient but also to become an energy exporter, it is insane. But hey, for whatever reason, someone somewhere thinks that a coal plant in picturesque Lamu is a good idea.

The truth of the matter is that we have a dangerous duo in State House. A duo that was forced into leadership by the pressure of an external situation. Going by Tozer’s definition, they should have been true and safe but it turns out that they are just as self-involved, vain and selfish as the entitled billionaire in the White House.

Ms Masiga is Peace and Security Editor at The Conversation Africa 

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