Browsing Tag


The Telescope


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

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