Irony of 'prayerful', cushioned and greedy leaders rocking the masses

The powerful depict a domesticated God who is at peace with their ways. [iStockphoto]

High on power, our political leaders are in a world of their own. What keeps them awake at night is not compassion for the people but possibilities of cash-making schemes.

They must make money! There is an unwritten rule that you cannot be in power and remain simple. Power is about grandness.

Heists must be in big figures, land in many acres, buildings in many storeys, businesses in many sectors and grand residences with uncountable rooms. The evil spirit of greed whets in them an insatiable appetite that drives them on an accumulation rampage even if it means impoverishing the people.

‘Churchiness’ has replaced godliness. National leaders walk up to the altar in the name of God only to speak in the name of greed. They start with a praise song only to end by asserting their power. They call people to thanksgiving and homecoming services where neither God nor the voters are thanked.

They should not be called thanksgiving services – they are self-praising and chest-thumping gatherings. Protected by tax-fuelled motorcades, they speed past the feelings of the people and insulate themselves from the realities of the people. The people have been demoted from the constant in the equation to a variable adjusted to serve the ambitions of the powerful.

While the leaders are Runda-cushioned, they rock the citizens by raiding their payslips. Not even the masses’ desperate screams can stop them. Panic attacks are now the people’s daily bread. Though the people will see it differently, they are taken on wild economic experiments whose only guaranteed beneficiaries are the tax distributors.

The rest, however rosy the description, is up in the air. They say it is Kibakism but it is not. The government is expanding a tax base without a trust base; effecting political force without patriotic fervor; invoking power over persuasion. It is assuming citizens will comply and cease complaining. This is an experiment worth following – notepad in hand and spectacles adjusted. 

But even before we settle to observe, heckling voices are heard and doctors are in the streets – complaining. The part of the experiment that assumed that Kenyans will be too afraid to complain is already disapproved.

One wonders what other assumptions could disintegrate and what the effects will be. The acidity of government has dissolved the people’s timidity. It has been demanded that people put more money in healthcare. Choked at the payslip, they have no choice but cough out the money. But the cough is now a national pandemic – the diagnosticians and syrup dispensers are in the streets, sick with mistreatment.

We understand resoluteness. But resoluteness for its own sake is not wise. King Solomon warned that “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” You can be right all the way to the wrong destination. Let the kings of this age hear! People want to be loved by being heard.

As things are now, their voices do not matter at all. Their representatives in Parliament who are supposed to be their voices have hired out their mouths to other powers. They no longer speak for those who voted for them. Speaking for the people risks their payslips! To keep their perks they must defy the people. That is the sorry state of the august House.

Game of numbers

But sometimes we place unwarranted hope on the parliamentarians. We expect wisdom from them - but wisdom was not what qualified them! We expect sensitivity from The Executive, but it was not what got them there! We expect love from the presidency, but it was never a requirement!

To look up to them is to set oneself up for a great disappointment. Parliament is a game of numbers and as they are now, winning will consistently go one way. Only courts can make them tilt the other way. A look at the breed of leaders shows that the ballot is heavily contaminated and citizens must rise up from their slumber to disinfect it.

Our loftily-pitched leaders want Kenyans to change but they themselves want to remain untouched in their form and poise. As per their thinking, seizing power has morphed then to the ultimate form. Change now is for the powerless – not the powerful. Sin and its confession are for the masses – not their righteous bosses.

When we say “Kenya must change” those in power are exempted – they are change overseers. They will speak against alcohol in public while bars in their residences are fully stocked from extravagant entertainment allowances. Citizens are to stand upright in honour of their staggering rulers. Days of our dives!

We are caught up in an unfortunate paradox of Christian criminals and praying thieves. If serving God is serving His people, it follows that you cannot serve both God and money. You either serve the money gods or the people’s God. Many leaders pretend to serve both. God’s house cannot host Satan’s shrine. The Ark of the Covenant cannot stand Dagon’s temple. A house of prayer will soon expel those who come to prey.

A person cannot use God – it is God who uses people. The powerful depict a domesticated God who is at peace with their ways. No king can stand composed before the King of Kings – there is always a palpable tension of limitation, temptation and sin. This explains why authentic humility in a king attracts God’s mercy. When a leader cannot generate humility by themselves, God will humble them in ways of his choosing. Wisdom to our king and leaders then is: seek humility before it is supplied.

In a world of many addictions, how good it would be if our leaders were addicts of good! Justice would roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

But now national values are devalued. We address corruption by issuing tough words against it. But clearly the words are for the camera.

Reality reveals that corruption is the staircase by which many have risen to power and wealth. The transaction terms are such that you cannot act against corruption without sacrificing what you have gained from it.

For most, the gains are too good to lose. It follows then that we keep corruption and its systems because those in power are afraid of being poor. They love themselves too much to let corruption go. Yet it is dismantling corruption that will make Kenya rich.

This is the hypocrisy: country abusers demand patriotism from citizens. While strengthening the shilling is good, for full effectiveness we must borrow heavily from the International MORAL Fund until we break the corruption ceiling.