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Kenyans have to reject leaders who threaten national security

COMMENTARY

Kenyans have to reject leaders who threaten national security

Story by CABRAL PINTO
Publication Date: 3/15/2008

Kenyan politicians do not seem to have any idea of public or national interest, and it appears as if they cannot learn from past mistakes and draw important lessons for the national good. Pork-barrel politics holds sway.

Looking at the debates, pronouncements and analyses on political power sharing confirms that Kenyans have to pay heavily for electing politicians bent on intimidating, blackmailing, exploiting and oppressing the people. 

Politicians have given Kenyans the chilling message that peace, security and non-violence are not guaranteed unless they (politicians) receive what they want from the national institutions. If Kenyans resist MPs’ hefty salaries or the top-heavy government being put in place, politicians will resurrect their illegal militias and beat the people into submission. 

How long are Kenyans going to submit to this political blackmail? What is disturbing is that the voices of reason in the so-called august House are few and far between. 

Is it not in the national interest to have a lean government as reflected in many political parties’ manifestoes? 

Are not the MPs paid well enough, and do they need extra perks out of the ministries being created? 

Is there a basis for appointing assistant ministers when we know they do absolutely nothing useful? 

The parties can come up with criteria for appointing ministers and civil servants. Some should be integrity, merit, gender, generation, expertise as well as experience, health and non-partisanship. Head of public service Francis Muthaura should not lecture Kenyans on his team’s non-partisanship, for such lectures are an abuse of Kenyans’ intelligence. 

He himself is a striking example of partisanship in the civil service.

Is this not the right time to exercise parliamentary and party oversight in these appointments? Is it so difficult for parties to agree on who is competent enough to be a minister or a civil servant? 

Should not Parliament exercise moral fortitude and discuss the criteria of appointment in the national interest? Should we not have legislation passed that deals with the issue of transparent, incorruptible and deserved appointments into the civil service and state institutions? 

When will graft, ethnicity, nepotism and other ills stop forming the basis of the appointments?

Intense lobbying for positions is currently going on in Nairobi for after signing of the power-sharing deal. It is scandalous for incompetent people to aspire for jobs they know they cannot perform just because they made contributions to their parties. 

Who will work for the parties since the new Political Parties Act stipulates how parties are run? 

Is anybody thinking about making the outfits mass parties so that their workers are paid for their passion and commitment to the ideology and politics?

Kenyan politicians have learnt no lessons from the political crisis, and the people and their regional, continental and international counterparts expect the root cause to be addressed without further delay. 

Power sharing should no longer be an issue right now – the country should be addressing what ails it. 

Are we dealing with leaders who are incapable of appreciating the people’s goodwill over the crisis, which was by and large engineered by an inept political leadership?

What is happening over power sharing is a lesson to the lobby groups, the private sector and the international community — the country is still faraway from dealing with its key problems. The fundamental reason for this failure is a deep leadership crisis and the accompanying vested political interests.

Kenyans have to wake up now and realise that we should not be enslaved by a political leadership that is going to destroy the country. 

We must keep the pressure on for reforms and ensure politicians know that they are not our teachers or leaders and that we intend to lead and teach them which issues are in the national interest.

Politics in Kenya cannot be so dirty that it cannot be cleaned up. Are we saying that we deserve a leadership that cannot reach a power-sharing deal that is cost-effective, efficient and visionary? Our survival as a nation depends on how we quickly realise that the current political leadership is threatening us with insecurity and violence if we dare challenge its misrule.

 
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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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