One thing that has become abundantly clear is that the caliber of leadership we have in Kenya is wanting to the extreme. Looking at the ilk of Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, and indeed almost all the leaders in this country, one is unsure if they could lead people who fell out of a boat into the water.
I mean, some things don’t need you to be a rocket scientist to figure out. If you are insisting that you are the duly elected president, and giving speeches to that effect, then it beggars belief that you would leave your burning country to attend some nebulous summit (as most AU summits are wont to be). It makes even less sense to commit to dialogue here and while in Addis undermine the same dialogue by throwing sand into the engine you have committed yourself and your “government”.
Look a the members of parliament. Almost all of them are here in Nairobi, and what’s more they have refused to go back to their constituencies until the fighting ends. Which beggars the question of how this fighting is supposed to end if the people tasked with the responsibility of leadership are unwilling to step up and lend a hand to stop it!
Look at the religious institutions. When they are not deafeningly silent they participate in the chocolate teapot of press conference appeals for peace. The main religious bodies, Catholic, Anglican, Muslim and the Independent Churches have just not impressed at all. They didn’t mind advising their flocks during the constitution. Why are they so quiet now? This touches on something I mentioned in my last post about the hypocrisy of Kenyans filling churches and immediately afterwards collecting weapons and setting upon their fellows. I find it difficult to believe that this is a 0.005% or whatever percentage that is being bandied about. I refuse to believe that the other 99.995% just disappear into thin air!
How many leaders have visited the clash hit areas? In fact how many leaders have gone to Jamhuri Park? Has Mwai Kibaki? Has Raila Odinga? Who purporting to be in authority went there on their own violation? Last time I checked it is only well wishers who have taken the trouble and the expense to visit the internally displaced.
Look at the police. When the spokesman is not blowing hot air, explaining this with doctored rambo footage, his boss Commissioner Ali appears on TV to proudly inform us how he has facilitated security for people to leave their homes, without a doubt one of the most ludicrous statements I have head this year. Commissioner, that is nothing to be proud of. Believe me.
Look at the assorted councils of elders. The Njuri Ncheke. The Luo Council of Elders. the Kaya Elders. The Kalenjin Elders. The Kikuyu Elders. Where are they? They’re always waiting at the wings for earth shaking developments like the sacking of “their” sons so they can rush into the limelight. Where are they now? Why have they lost their voices as this insanity continues? Why do they not use their influence to prevail upon their people to end this madness?
Who will tell the foolish machete wielding youths that it is extremely moronic and self defeating to evict “foreigners” from amongst their midst? That this will only trigger resentment towards them and retaliation across the board?
Who will preach that no matter how self sufficient you think you are, you will still need groundnuts from the coast, beef from North Eastern, fish from Nyanza, sugar from Western, milk from Rift Valley and vegetables from central?
Who will remind people that Kenya is Kenya because of the contribution of everyone and if we pull apart we will all be the worse? Who will remind the population that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts?
Who will point out to people that if this nonsense continues you cannot simply go to Masai Mara or climb Mount Kenya or go to Lake Victoria or go to Mombasa! What will it benefit you to live in a country where you cannot go wherever you please!
Who will address the youths and tell them as reasonably as possible that if you burn buses in the morning do not be surprised to lack transport in the evening. Or if you uproot the railway tracks do not complain about lacking cooking oil. Or if you loot your workplace do not complain about lacking a job. Because they need to be addressed and have these things pointed out by someone in a leadership position.
But then again on retrospect leaders are quite the effective mirror of society … as we did last year, in 20 years from now some of those panga wielding, stone throwing, shop looting fools will offer themselves for leadership and we will elect them.
The question is – who is really to blame there?
Mercifully there are people stepping up. In their own little way to do something practical rather than endlessly mundane appeals for peace from Narobi. Parallels between Mohammed appealing to the mountain ought to be drawn here.
These are the kind of leaders we need. Enough self obsessed pontification from the likes of our current leadership, demanding for extra security. Why should you be given any extra security? Is your blood somehow redder than ours? What about the rest of us? Do we not deserve to be alive too? That if anything should speak volumes about the integrity and selflessness of these windbags. Face it my friends. Looking to this lot for leadership is like sheep looking to wolves.
We need more Rachels and Wesleys. These are the sort of leaders we should admire. The sort of leaders we should stand behind. Ready to go into the lion’s den for their people. True shepherds indeed.
Spare me the Kibakis and the Railas! What do they care about us? A man who a month ago promised to be the president of all Kenyans had the audacity to LEAVE for some nebulous summit as the country literally burnt and its people were dying?
Spare me the absurdity!
AOB – Goodbye Barack. It’s Been Real
I’m following the hype around the newest Kid on The Block, Barack Obama with much a somewhat cynical eye. Is he popular? Yes. Does he drive crowds into frenzies? Yes. Could be make one hell of a president? Yes. Would I personally vote for him? Hell yes! If I was an American that is.
But elections in America follow the very same unwritten rules as those all over the world. Which means what? That the people at the conventions and speeches are the typical iPod listening, notebook carrying educated city dwellers. These are not the people with the votes. The people with the votes are the maws and paws: apple pie baking break-your back work ethic church going rural folk. These are the people with the votes.
And an unwritten law somewhere says that the people who attend rallies are not the ones with the votes.
Keeping in mind the painfil fate that befell John Kerry and Al Gore to George Bush Jr, what it will boil down to is as follows.
Given a choice between a black man (Mr Obama) and a white woman (Hillary Clinton) I would not be surprised the people with the vote will make the inevitable choice of voting for John Sidney McCain.
NOTE: That last statement is put exactly the way I intended it it. I am perfectly aware of their party affiliations, nomination processes, stands on issues like health, Iraq, and all that jazz.