Presidency: Musalia Mudavadi Must be Strategic!
There is no doubt that Hon. Musalia Mudavadi is the newsworthy politician of the moment in Kenya. The fixation with the likely presidential candidature of Mudavadi is said to be because the man is loveable – which has me a little perplexed: does a country require a leader they love or a leader they need?
|Musalia Mudavadi Photo courtesy|
Thanks to the media hype, what started out as "friendly-in-house political spurring" within Orange Democratic Movement is fast gaining flight energy with every passing moment. But even the media darling has like other politicians managed to royally put his foot in his mouth. Hon. Mudavadi had managed to cut himself the image of a moderate politician with national stature. But, I am appalled that in the wake of the infamous Gema and Kamatusa regroupings; that in a country threatened by ethnic cataclysm, the Sabatia legislator did not resist the urge to seek tribal anointing before declaring his next political move. Mudavadi’s latest move to host politicians from Luhyaland may well be his point of no return to the Orange party.
I think that his convening of Luhya politicians was an archaic and backward move, characteristic of what continues to rob us of great leadership and make it harder to govern this country. Does he think that he secured my support or vote as a Luhya by just appearing in the media sandwiched by politicians from my ethnic group? Not! His action only caused me to bemoan that our politics only attracts personalities bereft of principles and not willing to pay the price of upholding national values of unity and cohesion.
Hon Musalia’s candidacy may sound attractive to Luhyas especially when discussed against claims that we are due for a president from the region. But hold on a second, fellow tribesman. Have you considered the tribe called Kenyans? They too have not had one of their own become a president since independence. Shouldn’t this be their time? I am persuaded that currently the most terrifying problem of our society is the negative nature of ethnicity.
As a Kenyan, what I desire and deserve is a leader walking the talk of unity and working on de-ethnicization of our politics. Our country has been battered by tribal contests for too long. It is incumbent on all of us - Kenyans to rescue her. I was hoping that Hon. Musalia Mudavadi was so souled-out to Kenya that it did not matter whether he was the General of the Army as long as he was in the rescue army. Have we not come of age so that our political leaders should no longer only count on ethnic support? Should it not rather be a politician’s ideology, vision and policies that counts?
While our people have different ethnic backgrounds, they have shared anxieties and aspirations: peaceful coexistence, a decent job and a securing a future for their children. Do you want to be our next president? Then here is consultancy for free: peace, a job and secure future - this is the ideology, the vision and the policies of the voter. Where are the political formations on people’s issues? Who is the leader willing to put the people first? Forty million of us will not benefit from the ongoing ethnic balkanizations. These are just self-serving con-tactics of the rich and elite to hoodwink those with a tribal outlook into giving them political support. Very soon the elite in these ethnic formations shall gang up and parade themselves before us, in stadiums, on television and on radio telling us they are leaders of national stature. Stupid, they are nothing but tribal kings!
There is nothing national about leadership formations that are driven by tribal energies. Voter beware, these tribal lords after consolidating their ethnic support shall retreat into the safety of hotel board rooms and strike a deal on who is leading the next eaters club.
We are in a new constitutional dispensation – a new order that calls for a new way of doing politics. For us to move forward, there must be tremendous paradigm shift in our political leadership and change of attitude amongst the citizenry. To each of us from the Kenyan tribe - now that we already know their game, why don’t we call their bluff now, hound them out of our politics and refocus on getting a leader that our country needs? We want politicians running for presidency not just to hold office but to transform our nation and make it fit for all of us.
We must never succumb to the tragedy of rationalizing challenges of ethnicity as inevitable and thereby rob ourselves of a chance to give ourselves a great leader and move ahead. We Kenyans must set our eyes on the horizons of a united, peaceful, cohesive and more prosperous country, and demand that our leaders play ball, shape up or ship out. That is why we endured police teargas and jail to overthrow the old constitution. This coming general election is about getting leadership that will implement the constitution and lead us to the Promised Land.
By George Nyongesa
National Coordinator, Bunge la Mwananchi
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