Why Kenya needs a non-elected President appointed on merit; as the country’s CEO
Esther Waringa is President of Public Service Governance (PSG) lobby, which is spearheading ‘Kenya Bila Uchaguzi’ campaign. She spoke to The Nairobian about why hustlers vs dynasties narrative can destroy the country.
You have been pushing for abolition of electoral system, what are the alternatives?
I am pushing for a public service system of governance that encompasses a bottom-up approach where all ministries shall be devolved. We don’t need elected representatives to drive the country’s development agenda. Instead people with relevant expertise must be empowered to deliver services. Apart from addressing the rising wage bill, we shall save money used for voter registrations, elections, campaigns and paying the elected representatives.
And you hope to achieve this through ‘Kenya Bila Uchaguzi’ initiative. Briefly explain it…
Absolutely yes. Every election cycle with either witness violence, tribal divisions or economic meltdown. ‘Kenya Bila Uchanguzi’ simply means doing away with elections; we are introducing public service governance (PSG), where technocrats will be appointed on merit and capacity to deliver. We have been given a go ahead by IEBC to collect one million signatures towards a constitutional amendment for a non-elective system to be referred to as public service structure, which we believe shall be the anchor of national cohesion and unity.
According to you, what ails the electoral system?
The electoral system is about divide and rule. It encourages people to amass wealth in order to contest for elective positions. Those with money are able to manipulate all the way to the top positions. In short, corruption ails our electoral system since people are not elected on merit but through wheeler-dealing.
We are experiencing heightened political tensions ahead of 2022, does it bother you that politicians are fast polarising the country?
Yes, it does bother me so much. The country is highly divided due to various competing factions. This is not good for our socio-economic progression.
What is your view about the ‘hustler versus dynasty’ narrative?
This is a narrative that can completely destroy this country. I don’t think God created us to have variance and levels of social life. There is no child of a lesser God. We are all created in the image of God and, therefore, we are all equal.
God in his wisdom has blessed us differently; each human being, community and tribe have a reason to thank God. We cannot, therefore, as a country start dividing ourselves along class lines. Each one of us has blessings to count. The bottom line is; let’s appreciate each other, let’s live for the sake of one another, let the power of love bind us together as a nation. When we are united, we will attract God’s blessings but when we are divided we will attract God’s anger.
As a governance expert, has Jubilee steered the country to development success?
I highly appreciate the infrastructure in this country so far. Our roads have really opened up development space. However, there is still much to be done in terms of economic recovery and poverty reduction. Much focus should be on Big Four Agenda but I won’t hesitate to add education, which is also education for spurring economic growth.
On a scale of one to 10, what score would you give Jubilee performance?
I would give Jubilee a score of five.
What about corruption and the anti-graft war?
Corruption is the biggest impediment to national growth and development. Corruption has eaten into our country’s economy. A time has come for a moral revolution, which requires a positive mindset and divine standards of life as the guiding principles of what we do collectively.
Has the ‘Handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga led to a cohesive Kenya?
To an extent, yes. We should live like brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, political factions are dividing us. While tribal-based political parties are worsening the situation ahead of 2022 elections. That’s why PSG is bringing to an end to elections through the ‘Kenya Bila Uchaguzi’ initiative.
Should President Uhuru Kenyatta keep off succession politics?
The President should completely focus on the Big Four Agenda. He is a unifying figure and symbol of national unity. He should pay more attention to the country’s peace and economic recovery.
Are politicians to blame for our political, social and economic problems?
Bad politics seriously influence political, social and economic retrogression. As I have stated, politics are to blame for divisions and acrimony among communities thus derailing development programmes.
PSG persistently insists Kenya does not need a president at the helm. Expound on the preferred structure...
We shall have a non-elected President as the country’s CEO. The president of Public service system of governance will be appointed on merit just like any other CEO in a corporate entity. The public service governing council is the organ that will be mandated to receive applications from Kenyans who would like to manage a PSG government. Criteria for interviews and vetting will be well laid down. The terms and conditions of employment for the country’s CEO will also be very clearly spelt out in the PSG constitution. All other Staff working in PSG government will apply for positions to the Public Service Board at the respective levels of jurisdiction.
What are your honest views about the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)?
The BBI has some clauses that can give positive progression in government and the people of Kenya. However, there are other key clauses like expansion of the executive and the increasing the number of constituencies that are unnecessary since this will lead to a bloated wage bill, which is a burden to Wanjiku who is already hard pressed by taxes. I don’t think expanding the executive and increasing number of constituencies will heal the nation.
Proponents of BBI say the current Constitution needs amendments while opponents maintain changing it is unnecessary. Your thoughts?
If we have to spend time and resources as a country to change the constitution, the change we anticipate must bring lasting change in government. So we must sit, think, evaluate what we are engaging in and what long term benefits it brings to our great country.
Former President Mwai Kibaki left a stable economy, why has his successor been unable to build on that foundation?
I think any leader must have a command over the management of the government. Being in charge is very key as a leader. President Kibaki was a firm and no nonsense leader. Those around him used to follow and implement his policies. The current crop of leaders spend most of the time politicking, and that’s the difference.
If you were the President, what would you have done better?
I would dedicate my time and effort in slaying the corruption dragon that is really eating our revenues. My government could be now running a double digit economy. That said; It isn’t late yet, we shall get there once a PSG government assumes leadership of this country.
Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto are at loggerheads. Advise them…
Love is the greatest commandment. When parents divorce, it is the children who suffer. When parents live together as one united family, the children rejoice and live a happy life. Kenyans have been affected by this division already. It is time for President Uhuru, Ruto and Raila Odinga to embrace each other for the sake of unity and peace of this country.