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We jump through hoops to get a job, so should our leaders

By Judith Mwobobia | June 29th 2021
An aptitude test. That way, the evaluation weeds out those who would be better suited for other jobs. Because we have many in our leadership who aren’t fit to lead anything. [Courtesy: Getty Images]

They say that if you keep doing the same thing the same way, the results will always be the same. Well, Kenya has been grappling with the same issues for ages; from high taxation, unemployment, inequitable distribution of resources and a high national debt that only keeps rising. But we are to blame.

We don’t pick leaders who can make a difference. And the selection process is driven by tribe and nonsense rather than what they bring to the table. But one thing we do well is the process of getting a Chief Justice. For all its drama, it is a thorough process that can only get better. But how do we ensure those on the ballot papers are deserving of the honour?

First, there would be an interview of presidential candidates on live television where they would actually answer questions from common folks on matters affecting the country. Think of a presidential debate where all the contenders show up and explain how they would ensure healthcare was accessible to all people. Or how they would cut down the need for acquiring more debt or clamping down on agencies that are keeping drug costs high. They would need to have well-thought-out plans and not those vague suggestions we have all heard too often during their political campaigns.

Second, they would all get an independent evaluation of their wealth. And yes, I know that constitutionally, the leaders and their spouses are supposed to declare their wealth. But we all know that we will know the state of the Ozone layer above Kenya sooner than we will the true facts of wealth declarations. Any whiff of fraud or corruption would get them disqualified.

Third, an aptitude test. That way, the evaluation weeds out those who would be better suited for other jobs. Because we have many in our leadership who aren’t fit to lead anything.

Lastly, they would be required to go through management classes, an MBA at the very least. While they are not expected to be financial whizzes, they would need to have the basics down on what an ailing economy needs. You could argue that he/she could be surrounded by people in the know, but that isn’t good enough because just like any other job, your papers are essential.

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