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Kenya nation needs remodeling

By HARRISON IKUNDA | August 9th 2016

Leadership is not easy for any serious organization or nation. Leading a nation of whatever shade is quite demanding. Leading some of the nations is always a daunting task. Some are tough to lead due to their size, history, status in the world (as is USA), or a multiplicity of issues that need to be addressed (as is Kenya and many other countries, war (several countries in the globe), neighborhood etc. Leading a country like Kenya is never easy and requires a lot of self-sacrifice. I have seen many lamenting over so many things wrong with Kenya that include tribalism, corruption, unprincipled politicians, poor leadership at various levels leading to non-delivery of service, spate of school violence and so on. Based on the so many things we find not right in Kenya, calls for the remodeling of the nation culture.

As an example, unless we are able to root out tribalism, it will not be easy to do away with corruption. Corruption has contributed to most of the mess we find ourselves in. The seismic and trickle down effects of corruption has had its toll on Kenya’s political, economic and social health. It has made sure that there are no enough drugs in government hospitals, not enough doctors in hospitals, those doctors present not paid well, it has denied our schools enough funding, it has ensured the poor cannot get good education, it has ensured teachers are poorly paid and highly demotivated, it has ensured wrong people on the right  or important jobs which they can’t perform or are there for selfish needs, it has ensured  that unemployment becomes a perennial problem that condemns many to poverty, it has destroyed institutions, it has ensured our infrastructure  remained backward , ensured investors such as manufactures move to other destination and destroyed  human dignity to many as it has ensured the quality of life for majority remain low to average.

Yet looking at the trend in the politics at present going to the next election, little or nothing has changed. We still have the usual tribal orientation in terms of voting to influence the outcomes. The political chiefs know the game better and know how to play with the minds of the hoi polloi. Don’t be fooled that issues will influence or determine the election outcomes. These will play secondary roles. The tribe and in some areas the clan is the king in determining even in sharing important seats in government and those organizations belonging to it. In Kenya we start the campaign cycle immediately after an election. The past keeps rearing its ugly head in influencing how we behave in conduct of public affairs. We have so much mistrust for one another and exclusivity is highly glorified and practiced in many quarters.

I have meet several good people whom I believe can contribute positively were they to get into politics. I have even personally asked some why they can’t just try. The response you get is that they don’t like the conduct and business of Kenya’s politics. Indeed one gentleman whom I see leadership in him and have seen plenty of him leading in private sector mentioned that he does not have the guts to lose his morally upheld human principles. He said at the current status of Kenya’s politics he would not want to get involved. The nature of our politics which inevitably includes deploying some of the cruelest methods of divisiveness, chicanery, bribery, intimidation and outright lies inevitably discourages many.


Yet if we are to move forward we need many good guys in positions of leadership. It cannot be the business of one person to reform Kenya as even if we the best at the top at any given time, there are too many hurdles to overcome to get things moving and this involves having to deal with all manner of charlatans, schemers and guys who operate some Mafia type of political and economic fiefdoms. Are we doomed? Certainly not, but we must change.



Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda


The writer is a researcher and consultant

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