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Power

The Telescope

CITIZENS EQUALLY TO BLAME FOR CURRENT LEADERSHIP CRISIS

A culture of mediocrity in leadership has gradually but surely sunk into the Kenyan economic space and we now feel the pinch.

It has finally dawned on us or rather, those who were quiet now are starting to speak up on inefficiencies that abound in government. And unfortunately this time, President Uhuru’s spin doctors have run out of stunts.

What is economic growth when wananchi cannot afford basic commodities? The economy seems to favour a few, with graft at its peak. Education issues are being conducted in a carefree manner. Recently the media was under the threat of being gagged. Kenyans are becoming restless and unless the trend changes, we could be headed for disaster.

However, rather than point fingers at the government and politicians, the electorate should lead in restoring the country to sanity. The buck no longer stops with the President and his government but we the citizenry.

We have contributed to the sorry situation by sitting on the sidelines as looters have a field day. We have forfeited our responsibility and must be held accountable.

It is time that we exercise people’s power in our communities, organisations and by far and large through the people we elect to power. Citizenship, not leadership, is the concept that we more urgently need to examine. Wananchi should bar the government from making excuses for failure.

“We cannot afford to sleep only to wake up in 2018 to complain about the same rot in leadership we are experiencing now”

We should not complain from the comfort of their sitting rooms with earphones or laptops on while the country sinks. Each and every one of us is a leader in their own right— as a manager, father or civil servant. We need to seek ways to straighten the existing wrongs in our society.

Our silence on bad leadership is what has led to the failure to produce a Kenyan brand from the millions of tonnes of raw material Kenya exports abroad. What is the role of the Opposition? To shout when it fails to eat too?

The welfare of a people in any given geographical space is tied to the quality of elected leaders. But more importantly is the fact that the effectiveness of those who govern is directly determined by the willingness and ability of the people to hold them accountable.

The willingness to be involved by actively participating, directly or indirectly, in governance is at the very heart of citizenship; this is our role. The next electioneering period is not far and it will require active and involved citizens refusing to elect and tolerate mediocrity but instead vote in the best men and women to represent their affairs in public offices.

Months leading to the next general election will be a great test not only to leadership, but also to citizenry. We cannot afford to sleep only to wake up in 2018 to complain about the same rot in leadership we are experiencing now. We must remain vigilant.

It is my firm belief that Kenya will be great, but it will take personal and collective leadership to achieve its rightful status.

This article was published on People Weekend on 31-1 November, 2015

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