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KEWOPA
The Telescope

WOMEN LEADERS HAVE TO STEP UP THEIR GAME

Women around the world at every socio-political level find themselves under represented in most places of decision making. Although Kenya has continued to show effort in incorporating women in those levels, though not sustainable at the moment, the country is making steps in the right direction.

However, in the recent past Kenyan women leaders’ style of leadership has left a lot to be desired. A blend of misplaced priorities and restricted tendencies have continually lurked around topical issues that craved for their voice and input; which they barely managed to give.

Recently Ruiru MP, Esther Gathogo, threatened to strip ‘naked’ to protest a fellow legislator’s remarks toward the President and a woman Cabinet secretary much to the bewilderment of those in attendance and viewers. Her actions which were to raise attention to the matter in the relevant corridors of power nevertheless contrast to the little or no attention that was given by women legislators when the bulletins were awash with news concerning the rogue gynaecologist Mugo wa Wairimu and his revolting escapades.

“The truth is that women leaders have failed the electorate. They ought to step up to their duty of representing national issues”

More disturbingly is that Gathogo, like the rest of the women leaders, was readily available to defend influential individuals over matters that were generated from a name calling contest rather than use the same energy in addressing rather more serious issues that concern women and society. In light of this matter how is it possible then, that there is hope for future issues that touch on women to be granted proper address that they deserve in the society?

Is it hard to account for the discrepancies of the weight of the matters above? Which of them fits into the profile of issues that the women in government should have put more focus on?051005_wangari_hmed_6a.grid-6x2

The truth is that women leaders have failed the electorate. They ought to step up their game on national issues rather than cow to their inner sense of hypocrisy on self-serving interests. Great women in history have championed and even sought to adopt more masculine styles to succeed in fighting for sustainable courses that affect society. A good example is the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.

Additionally, women in power have been modest in championing tenable change. In their quest for re-framing gender balance, they have lost focus of what is important that could actually propel the country in achieving gender equality goals more quickly.

Keen focus on the kernel of key issues affecting society has the power to alter the current dominant majority and the mindsets. Besides, as much as Kenya and the world now needs a new model for leadership that eliminates the depressing syndrome of the second and instead places greater value on those who lead more with emotional intelligence, it is about time women leaders stepped up to their role in society.

At the end of the day, what matters is results and women leaders should collectively advance towards providing proper representation and sustainable solutions required in key areas affecting women and society and not serving their own welfare or participating in ludicrous gimmicks.

This article was published on People Weekend on October 3-4, 2015

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The Telescope

JUMA’S NOMINATION HAS EXPOSED MPs HATRED FOR INTEGRITY

Gone are the days when good work performance attracted reward. Most people in positions of influence will attest that maintaining ethics and values is an uphill task; given that political leaders expect favours, to pass laws or strike deals.

Dr. Monica Juma seems to be paying the price for being steadfast to her duty.

Recent events saw a section of Mps opposed to her appointment as Secretary to the cabinet throw sideshows, thus derailing logical debate on the issue.

After years of devoted service to the country and Africa at large, Juma, who had the requisite qualifications and vast experience in public service, security issues and academia was denied the opportunity to serve for what the legislators termed as lack of political approach (whatever that means!) in dealing with the public and elected representatives.

Regrettably Monica Juma is not the first to be vilified for performing her duties with dedication. In politics, power games, deceptions, and sabotages often block laudable individuals’ noble efforts ,thus threatening the county’s development.Noisemakers may be rewardedwith plum positions they have no idea about.

What was witnessed last week dented the electorate’s glimpse of hope in the legMonica Jumaitimacy of the legislature. Their persistent disregard for democracy by constantly misusing power so as to achieve their selfish interests particularly in this instance left many to say the least appalled.

It’s not lost to many that in Kenya this unbecoming conduct has cost us negative consequences such as political instability,skewed economic development and public resources wastage as well as reduced healthy political competition.

Granted the fight against corruption ways cannot be won overnight but we must strive to salvage leaders with integrity and check rogue Mps.

Regardless of our reform record, we will never achieve our social-economic potential without an honest, efficient legislative system.

Put simply, corruption strikes at the heart of our most cherished beliefs and assumptions about our democratic government. That makes it extremely dangerous to the body politics.

As for Juma, you have served your country well. You may never know but you have gained admirers of all ages and political divide.Continue doing so…virtue, we are told, is its own reward.

Given your capacity to fight, I very much doubt that the matter will end here.

This article was published on the People Daily Newspaper on June 20-21, 2015/PEOPLE WEEKEND.