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The kingpin politics: a Kenyan curse

By Brian Rop | January 10th 2017
The demise of two Maasai senior most politicians has sparked debate on who will succeed them, as the communities de facto leaders, thus determining greatly on the political direction the Maa people take.

As the community deliberates on who shall take over, eyes are already gazing at Joseph Nkaissery, a leader in pole position owing to his closeness to powers that be, the head of ACK Jackson Ole Sapit and Ole Lenku.

The Abaluhya on the other hand have already installed their spokesperson in Musalia Mudavadi, amid opposition from other leaders who felt he didn’t deserve the slot. He is, therefore, the political voice of the Abaluhya people, deciding the course his people shall chart come 2017 elections.

Elsewhere, communities across Kenya have their own leaders, from William Ruto for the Kalenjin people to Gema and the clan elders of North Eastern communities who do negotiate who takes over various political positions in the arid county.

All these signal the king pin syndrome that has been part and parcel of Kenyan politics since independence. Having a community leader as was the days of the yore is welcome but most of the times they hold the community at ransom, by advancing their own selfish interests.

In the case of clan elders and Gema, they can be easily influenced by monied politicians.

As the voice of the people, the regional kingpins make decisions for an entire community just as was the days of traditional political settings, often with less or no opposition at all.

This does not guarantee democracy as these leaders drum up support for courses which may not be beneficial to all the community but a select few, oft the elites and the cronies of the kingpins.

The people should be let to exercise their own political will, chart their own destinies based on the policies that impress them the most and not to forced to acknowledge leaders decided for them. Its is detrimental to progress as well as democracy.
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