Real test of leadership begins after the gruelling campaigns

Newly sworn-in Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja when he toured parts of Nairobi promising to solve the garbage menace. [Standard]

Kenya’s youngest political party has produced a president! Hold on, don’t think too hard about this statement.

Now, the Green Thinking Action Party (GTAP) which is roughly a year old, selected and sponsored 33 candidates out of 489 interested aspirants countrywide during the just concluded elections.

The candidates collectively attracted 47,364 green votes and voice of confidence to the party ideology. MCA-elect Dominic Mwamisi, the GTAP candidate for Mutha Ward, Kitui South Constituency in Kitui County emerged victorious. He became one of the newly elected 1,450 Members of County Assemblies (MCAs). In essence, MCAs are akin to ward presidents. They are closer to people at the grassroots and hence best placed to tackle local problems.  

Although GTAP’s 32 other candidates did not attain majority votes to win the seats they passionately sought, the Kenyans who voted for them won by delivering a resounding clarion call for green leadership and transformation. One day, this aspiration will materialise.

The upcoming months will separate the serious, visionary political parties from those that were mere vehicles for a few individuals. As Party Leader of GTAP together with my team, we shall remain faithful not just to the current registered 43,873 members of our party, but also to our transformative ideology.

Our agenda espouses ethical and effective governance, sustainable wealth creation and dignity of the households. Just like our MCA-elect who won against all odds, numerous other Kenyans also won despite the daunting hurdles in their way.

They include 24-year-old Linet Chepkorir aka Toto who won the Bomet County Woman Representative seat. Barely one year ago, she was a mitumba and chips vendor in Bomet town.

When she commenced her campaigns, she campaigned on a boda boda. A similar indefatigable spirit was experienced in Nakuru County’s Elementaita Ward where George Nene, a 22-year-old fourth-year Egerton University student won the MCA seat. He often campaigned on a donkey and spent less than Sh20,000 on his campaigns.

These young leaders are among a small group of victorious leaders who persuaded voters through their sheer vision and passion, not their money. They are a stark contrast to hundreds of other victorious leaders whose victory was partly pegged on the millions they spent.

Unfortunately, many of those who spent millions will probably seek to ‘recover’ their investment. The proposed Campaign Financing Act is clear that candidates should divulge the source of campaign funds.

However, this Act has never been enacted, hence breeding corruption. All key political stakeholders must weed out such funds from the political landscape.

Indeed, elected leaders must make life better for their constituents. An inspirational political victory will be rendered meaningless if it doesn’t result in better lives for constituents.

In the case of Dominic Mwamisi, this better life means water accessibility. In Tuikombe village of Mutha ward, residents must travel with their donkeys for 23 kilometres to fetch fresh water. In Kothoa village a 20-litre jerrican costs Sh50.

Coupled with these water challenges is insecurity. Just a few days ago, a teenage boy in Kataa village was shot dead by camel herders from northern Kenya. They often venture in search of pasture as a result of effects of climate change.

Supported by Kenya’s President, Kitui Governor, Senator and various stakeholders, Dominic must provide decisive leadership to address these pressing problems. GTAP will hold him accountable through the party’s green score card parameters based on his election pledges.

Indeed, all elected leaders must realise that the Goliaths they must conquer are the problems of their constituents, not their political adversaries. Think green, act green!