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Insecure leaders their own worst enemies

KETHI D KILONZO
By Kethi Kilonzo | November 1st 2015

NAIROBI: There was a Kingdom known as Alpha. It stood on top of a hill with five other kingdoms forming a circle around it. It was the proverbial shining lamp on the hill for its neighbours.

Alpha was ruled by a king known as Valor. Alpha owed its status to this King’s wise rule. The courts of his Kingdom were always graced by hosts of the King’s men. Valor consulted with his men. He called them his council. His council was not a small circle, but a large host of men from all walks of life.

Valor’s council meetings were conducted with everyone standing from start to finish, including the King. There was no podium. There was no raised platform. Every man who sought the King’s ear had to do it in the open, with his peers around him listening. He had no favourites. He listened to everyone who spoke to advise him. In his courts wealth, status, family ties, historical background meant nothing.

Only the patient, only the mentally gifted, only the bravest, only the honest and the well-meaning dared to advise him at his council meetings. Since he did not take advice in private, no one dared to accuse the other falsely. Since he conducted his kingdom’s affairs in the open, no one had the courage to seek favours from him in exchange for salacious gossip.

Without requests for favours, salacious gossip, backstabbing, wicked plots and counter-plots, his council meetings were always short. The business was conducted swiftly.

His courts had no hangers-on. There was nothing for anyone to privately benefit from the King’s Council meetings. His Kingdom was never lacking. The people of his kingdom knew they would only reap and eat from what they themselves sowed. So, they worked hard.

The kings of the other five kingdoms, Inferno, Lava, Zephyr, Hydro and Omega, could only admire him. They dared not copy his style of rule. They neither had the courage or self-confidence in themselves to rule fairly and equally without fear or favour.

Alpha was a generous kingdom. Valor often sent messengers bearing messages of wise counsel and gifts from the people of his kingdom. However, one day something very strange happened in the Kingdom of Alpha.

The Kingdom of Apha received a most unlikely visitor. No other kingdom had received such a visitor. It was known by one name only. Candor. It promised to increase the bounty of Alpha. It did; and in such a short time.

Once a beacon of light, an example of magnificent rule, with Candor and Valor, Alpha stood at the brink of infinite glory. One day, long after the arrival of Candor, Valor announced at his council meeting that he had decided to share Candor with the five kingdoms. He selected a pentagon of teams.

Candor was the last goody that Valor, and his Kingdom Alpha, ever sent out. Before his Pentagon teams arrived at their destinations, Valor allowed his council of men to strike fear into his heart and mind.

Fear of the five kings gaining the wisdom of Candor and stopping their misrule. Fear of kings and kingdoms that could stand head to head and shoulder to shoulder with him and Alpha.

Struck by fear, Valor sent out another pentagon of teams to wipe out the first pentagon. Fearing discovery Valor also gave instructions for all the men present at the two council meetings to be wiped out. Wave after wave the people of the Kingdom of Alpha got lost in the winds.

Valor often stood with his council absent minded wondering how many more waves he needed to wipe the memory of Candor. The glorious past forgotten Alpha started fading.

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Let’s savour our successes even as we take stock of our failures
This has been a gloomy month for Kenya. The economy continued tanking, with the Treasury making a startling admission that the country is having cash management challenges and interest rates hitting the mid-twenties.

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