Kill the lies in our politics, for there is no development without morality

There are leaders who - like the devil’s favourite children – are perpetual deceivers. They have workshops in the form of assistants and advisers whose mandate is to continually engineer new lies.

Deception is an asset to gain and perpetuate power. With every lie the citizens swallow, these leaders gather in their grand residences and toast to the foolishness of the people. Such leaders consider truth a liability that threatens their empires. They dislike players who enlighten citizens with truth since for them authenticity is a flagged as a spoiler, a weak link to be eliminated.

Paradoxically, though they hail deceit, they do not themselves want to be deceived – they want loyalty from their networks. Just like thieves do not want to be stolen from, liars expect – even demand - honesty from others. It is such paradoxes that paint the inevitability and superiority of truth. Even lies want to appear as truth! Liars swear they are telling the truth so that they can get away with their lies.

Truth is powerful by itself. Spiritually speaking, one of the names of Jesus the Messiah is “The Truth.” Relating this to the happenings at the cross, Jesus was sentenced based on false witnesses. Those who sponsored the execution were angry partly because Jesus was exposing them for who they were and gaining a following that threatened their strongholds. Truth was on trial and Truth was nailed. But falsehood had only a temporary victory. Truth rose again! Truth will stand to the end because what is false cannot outlast what is true.  

Ever wondered why thieves prefer working in darkness? Why the bank robber chooses to wear an elegant suit? Why criminals have a hood over their faces? Why accused people hide from the cameras as they go in and out of court? Why people claim innocence when it is stark clear they are the swindle engineers? It is because innocence is good. Truth is nature’s preferred position. There is a natural inclination to desire a good reputation. So we hood ourselves so that our faces are not identified with our bad;  when cameras are on us we face the floor and hide our faces because we do not want to be associated with our shame; we disguise ourselves with imported suits so that we can look normal even though we have very sickly intentions. 

Are their bad acts done with good motives? Certainly. But the irreconcilability of the good-bad combination generates a noise that manifests as guilt and remorse. Comparatively, bad acts inspired by bad motives tend to make the actors unremorseful. The sense of good, which should be the natural ambition of the human being, is heavily suppressed by the bad act-bad motive harmony. Persons who have perfected the art of diverting public funds with pretentious titles of public servants do not consider an apology as necessary for their misdeeds. They will not own up to their dirt and will vehemently claim a clean identity. This can be correctly described as abuse of innocence. The more we excel in the bad, the more we become enemies of the good. Contrastingly, the more the sense of good is nurtured, the more humane we feel.

The spiritual shift from a suppressor of good to a liberator of it has a homecoming feeling. This homecoming is in the form of an internal philosophical shift where we admit that the good is good for us. But the quality of goodness must be assessed not merely by its actions but by the spirit behind the actions. Wisdom informs that a person’s success is not rooted in their actions, but in their motives. In our perpetual cry for sound leadership, political “goodies” may be an acceptable indicator of a positive movement – roads built, power wired, water channeled, fertilisers distributed, education supported and jobs created. But for the goodies to evoke trust, the deeper motive test is necessary. Goodies can be hoods!

Political eras that started off with splendid promises and fair performances have ended tragically because their motives mutated in a deteriorating direction. The fake masks melted, the hyena’s cheap sheep skin tore and the demons’ light wrap dimmed and there was no more camouflage. In Kenya, we are yet to experience a leadership era that ends with a crescendo. Self-publicised political masters consistently deliver a scary casualty-yielding crash landing.  

Sadly, vice in many quarters is not regarded as a crime - it is ritualised, normalised even crowned. Vice masters laugh at handcuffs because they have a key to their freedom. In a country where bad is good and good is bad, many are left to appeal to the court of natural justice, hence the common Kenyan saying “It will come back to haunt you!” and another like it “There is a God heaven.” If systems and their leaders were truer and fairer to the people, more would be settled on the human plane and only more complex files referred to God.

We are governed by many hands to whom leadership is not a calling but a milking. Kenya’s politicians have little expertise in feeding the cow but are milking gurus. They have no affection for the cow. Milk is the singular axle of political conversation. The few who come to feed the cow are overwhelmed by the long files of dirty-handed and impatient milkers. This greed feeds the country’s perpetual poverty, invasive immorality, persistent violence, citizen fatigue and national sadness. 

Morality is the aspect of living that addresses selfishness. Morality is indispensable and is the invisible constitution behind the visible Constitution. The hard structures in the Constitution intend a soft landing for the community. The Constitution does not only exist to deliver a moral nation, but itself demands moral goodwill in order to function. Morality is both the foot and the fruit of the Constitution. 

Almost always morality has a religious connection, which reveals the shortsightedness of those who rejoice at the weakening of religious institutions. Political players strip the moral authority of the church by bringing its leaders close to power and extending friendship through state-crafted benefits. Such benefits are wrapped in honour but are in real sense tactics of dishonour. The church drawn close to power feels powerful but in actual fact is weakened by that very proximity. The tactical proximity is well-tailored, and like a tightly fitting dress, it is hard to remove! The church is strongest when it intentionally keeps its distance from State House. The distance minimises manipulation, fortifies moral authority and amplifies prophetic impact.

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