Browsing Tag


Kenya's Supreme Court judges file into the chamber during the opening of the 11th Parliament in the capital Nairobi April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis (KENYA - Tags: POLITICS)
The Telescope

Our collective ruin stems from trusting politicians

Leadership does not have a secret formula; all true leaders go about things in their own way. It’s this ability to think differently that sets them apart and perhaps makes them popular or unpopular.

Virtuously by order of their mandate or through corruptible means, no one can dispute the fact that the senators that emerged top in the recently released survey that ranked them according to their influence on the ground, exercise autocratic leadership.They understand that leadership boils down to people.

Whatever the style, whatever the method, they believe in themselves, their ideas, their stuff and their staff. Nobody can be successful alone and these politicians know this all too well.

One such man is Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko , a controversial populist whose brand of service is dismissed by many, but appreciated by an equally large number. He incessantly seems to have fully embraced the benefits of social power.

Social power is the basic common element in politics, economics, and all other social relationships. It is possessed by all individuals and social groups and arises out of their connections to each other. Robinson Crusoe, marooned on a desert island, didn’t have to deal with it until he met Friday.

Regardless of how you choose to look at it, Kenyan politicians’ performance or lack thereof in office and our tolerance towards the unbecoming habit continues, to dent the devolved government on the long run.

Furthermore it is rather regrettable that as Kenyans, we have repetitively cultivated in our repute for short attention spans and high expectations consequently helping our politicians to master the art of deluding our minds by telling us what we want to hear rather than that which is necessary for the country’s long-term good.And therein lies our collective path to ruin .kenya_debate001_16x9

We continue to stand at the peripheries of our rightfully deserved prosperity risking the likely nosedive unless we make some difficult but necessary decisions.

Our constant failure to yield actions will maintain politicians ignorance to Kenya’s democratic deficit as we are painfully aware of it from various surveys that persist on finding the electorate increasingly concerned that politicians are not working for them the way that they should.

Besides, some politicians dormancy is a violation to Kenyans democratic rights .

This consequently results to a less democratic government which in return yields less legitimate actions; alienating the public.

We have long suffered under governments that have seemed to consistently favour special interests over the public interests and worse off opposition parties that remain drunk on political opportunism. Its about time Kenyans take action against latent politicians who have mastered the craft of deceit and shenaniganism.

However, even in this light, I respect politicians that are genuinely serving their electorates as per the book but they unfortunately occupy a pitifully small fraction.

I long for politicians who will value real discussion and debate. I long for a political party that will have a true vision for the whole nation. What is the future going to be like? I shudder to think sometimes. Wake up Kenyans!

This article was published on May 23 2015 on People Daily Kenya

The Telescope

Why integrity is abstract, yet a critical value

Success comes and goes, so goes a popular adage but integrity lasts forever.

Integrity has been defined as a constant consciousness of doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. That is no matter the consequences.

But this could prove daunting when we live in a fickle world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many. It is a thriving era of over-promise and under-delivery. There in lies our Waterloo.  Today, people seem to gain power quickly and easily if they are willing to cut corners and act without the constraints of morality.

Known or unknown to them, dishonesty may provide instant gratification but it will never last. Dishonesty has a way of attracting retribution. It may take time but in the end, justice is served, and , as one magistrate once said, it is best served cold.C-F-Payne

I can think of several examples of people without integrity who are successful and who win without ever getting caught, which creates the false perception of the path to success.

Unfortunately, that momentary result comes at an incredibly high price with far reaching consequences.

An underestimated fact is the immeasurable profit that comes with a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity which lasts forever as compared to a negative word of your character that spreads like wildfire. The value of the trust others have in you is far beyond anything that can ever be placed on a scale.

On a personal level, integrity rewards in having an army of people willing to go the extra mile to help you because they know that recommending you to others will never bring damage to their own reputation of integrity. On the contrary, a person’s dishonesty will eventually catch with them.

It may not be today and it may not be for many years but you can rest assured that at some point there will always be the hour of reckoning.

We become more and more like the people we surround ourselves with day to day and if you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then it follows, naturally, that you should surround yourself with people of integrity.

Why spend years building success then risk losing it at an instant to villainy relations? Careless mistakes of entertaining toxic company can prove very costly.

A Latin proverb says that wise men learn from the mistakes of others but fools from their own. Building a steady reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second for it to come crumbling like a house of cards.

That is why I always say to all who will listen: “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.”

This article was published on March 22 2015  in People Daily Kenya

The Telescope

Will our leaders’  dented image ever be cleansed?

A hand count of leaders can attest to a soft landing after a long or short stint in power. Most testify to its sudden demise much faster than they even notice it is short-lived presence.

Despite the aura of omni-potence that most political leaders project, history records otherwise. So delicate are these fickle positions of power that when things truly fall apart, titles regularly unravel with unholy speed.

As economy cools and political temperatures rise in the country, domestic unrest continues being more poignant and consequences of any form of political unrest are never gradual, gentle neither are they partial.

For a second, let us appreciate that our society today is better than its predecessors in important ways but the current crop of political leaders identify as reactionaries. One time they are rolling on innovative currents — impressively smart- but the next they seem to be saying or doing things that are either morally repugnant or utterly ridiculous.

What follows then leaves more questions than answers. How confident are we that our society is better than its predecessors in important ways and how do we compare to history along dimensions we might care about?

Truth is even at the wake of record innovation, we’ve had lengthy digressions into social  injustice issues, corruption among other ills. One feels concerned that we could stumble anytime now.

Politicians so far have not shown a competence to be able to handle all these balls in the air at the same time. Our confidence in them reduces by the minute as they engage in unabashed acts leaving nothing to be desired.

It’s appalling to see elected individuals in places of policy making participating in foolhardy episodes seeing that they are not immune to pettiness that passes for national politics, hatred for political commentary and crushing acrimony for governance.

It is no longer surprising to see them going into blows, a perfect reflection of the bellicose nature of the Kenyan national character.

Was the electorate wrong to expect the current crop of politicians to rehabilitate the image and authority that make for the government? Are they to be trusted intellectually even morally with any oversight role. Will their dented reputation ever be cleansed?

Kenyans have failed to be introspective, leading to a recurrent preference for mediocrity.

Conventional wisdom challenges that democratic institutions such as in this country, be structures of voluntary cooperation that solve distributive conflicts and benefit all lest we be entirely lured into diminutive politics.

This article was published on March 15,2015 on People Daily Kenya