Archive for June, 2012

#Political #Leadership Qualifications debate in #Kenya

June 27, 2012

This moronic debate should not even be going on in the 21st century Kenya! However since we are here we might as well partake in it.

To me, leadership  is basically “a perceived ability (or capability) of an individual or an organization”. This perception can be actively acquired eg through political campaigns or ads or it can be passively acquired eg when an individual or organization  excels at what he/she/it does, thereby being recognized as a cut above the rest. The criteria  or qualities people consider in order to qualify something or someone as a “leader” are as varied as individuals in a society, as one person’s food is another’s poison.  They also range from scientific to intuitive. This, however,is a story for another day…

Once leadership qualities have been recognized, a leader has immense power of influence on the behavior of those who perceive it, hereinafter referred to as followers ( supporters)

For the record two things. For starters, the relationship between a “degree certificate” and “good leadership” is correlative  rather than causative. Secondly,Having a degree certificate, or lack thereof,  has nothing to do with monetary success in life, cases in point being Moi and Karume.

Having said that, however, let me state categorically that a leader should be like Caesar’s wife: beyond reproach. A political leader, given the prominent position he/she occupy in the society, should be more Catholic than the Pope.

This is because Politicians not only influence people’s behavior through  performance of their official duties, but also influence by being role models to the society.

The ideal in political leadership should be to elect a person we all aspire to be as a society. Right now in Kenya, every Tom Dick and Njuguna Values education for their children above all else. This should dictate that we go for highly educated leaders, not only to for qualified performance of public duties,but also for our children’ role models

Removing higher education qualification in political leadership leaves too many loopholes for voting in mediocre leadership.   

I’m not blind to the fact that education might just be valued in the society, not as an end in itself, but a means to an end,ie a bridge to wealth.

People will, therefore, continue voting for people with tonnes of money, irrespective of how they got the wealth in the first place. Politicians will basically need lots of many to “bribe” voters into voting them in. This means they’ll most likely have had shady dealings in getting the money. Alternatively,they get monetary backing from Shady characters who bankroll their campaigns. Either way, once in power, those politicians will have to get back the money they spent on campaigns. To cut a long story short, the vicious cycle of corruption…

I’d be the first person to admit that everyone is a leader in various aspects. My position here is that  there are many other leadership positions that those people without higher education can excel and serve the society in. But for crying out loud, let politics be dominated by highly educated people! Unless of course you need mediocre leaders because you are mediocre yourself…                 

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The “egg and chicken” political Question: btwn the #leader and #followers (supporters) who’s the REAL BOSS?

June 20, 2012

I’ve heard the phrases “we deserve the political leaders we’ve got” or “political leaders are a mirror to the society”  more times that I lost count. This has got me thinking that maybe there’s a grain of truth in it.

Leader and leadership concepts are complex entities to define, so definitions will be a story for another day.  suffice it to say that the most useless definition I’ve come across so far is that “leader is a person who do the right things and a manager is a person who  do things right”.

Back to the issue at hand, How do politicians get elected. The “best” of them “listen” to the electorate. They familiarize themselves thoroughly  with the issues that the voters hold dear. The issues might be the traditional ones (employment, infrastructure, education etc) to social ones (eg tribe, religion, race).

The politician then pick up the issues and eloquently amplify them. The voters identify with the person as representing their views. They follow such an individual and eventually vote for him. Talk of representative democracy!

The unfortunate thing is that as group, people tend to have an average IQ of the dumbest of them all, and as such the kind of issues that will gain prominence are at best non-issues and at worst destructive ones. The politician might subscribe to the issues he’s expounding on, then again he/she might  just use the issues as stepping stones to an elective position.

The upshot: the followers (voters) set the agenda for the leaders, and then  elect the person who most eloquently amplifies that agenda. The tragedy of democracy is that it’s the rule by majority and if the majority in a community are engaged in trivia…

If you feel the need to blame someone for the leadership woes in your country or constituency,blame the voters or better yet, find a mirror…

Until the intellectuals get involved in setting the elective agenda in the society, we’ll always have mediocre leadership and the best we’ll do about it is whine in our blogs and scientific journals.  

I’ll start blaming the elected leaders when one of them takes my vote from my pocket and votes for him/herself!

Women are wasting all their time and resources teaching women leaders how to get elected, and I’m always telling them that it’s the voters who determine the leaders. Mary, the mother of Jesus, wouldn’t be elected if she contested for an elective position in a society that believes “leader” is the Greek term for “man”. If we need women elected (and we do) we need to focus on voters, especially women voters.

I am specific about women voters because any elected  politician will conduct his/her political  affairs in such a way as not to antagonize his/her core voting constituency. Women elected by men will bend over backwards not to alienate the men votes even if it means pushing the women issues under the bus, so to speak.   

 

              

    

Until #Kibaki,#Raila,#Orengo,#Nyong’o are part of the #ICC list, the “Hague suspects” thing is just crap!

June 20, 2012

Kibaki’s blame on the PEV issue is basically “sins of omission”. For starters he was supposed to, and even promised to be a one-term president. To most of us he was supposed to serve as a stop gap measure, abridge if you like between the KANU regime and the truly  multiparty politics era. By reneging on that promise and deciding to run for a second term, he set the stage for all the grievances that culminated in the PEV. He gave tribal Kenyans the excuse of painting him a tribal Kikuyu and associating him with Kenyatta’s regime’s sins and the rest is history.

Secondly,His being declared elected as president, and being  sworn in “at night”  after a very controversial and contested general elections Gave tribalists the excuse to violently carryout the “42 minus 1” agenda, with the Kikuyu retaliating. This is the long and short of ’07/’08 PEV.

Raila’s PEV contribution was both “sins of commission and omission”. On the issue of omission, like kibaki the PEV was basically “fought for him”. The violence was an endeavour to make him president.

Raila’s sin of commission was that he actively encouraged his supporters to violence by calling on them to engage in “mass Action”( read: violence) until they got rid of kibaki from statehouse. He’s also on record saying that they’ll not take their grievance to the courts and they’d seek solutions through mass action. This gave looters, rapist, killers the green light to do what they do best all in the name of mass action. I’m just hoping Raila’s disdain for the rule of law won’t lead us down the PEV path again.I shudder to remember him, a whole prime minister, calling the high court “Korti bandia”( bogus or fake courts)!

Orengo and Anyang’ Nyong’o were daily on nation Media TV and radio calling for sustained mass action. Infact, one of them was on national television saying that if “one tribe can live with the others should…”

In politics words from politicians pack a heavier punch  than words from other individuals. I posit here that the inflammatory statements from each of these politicians had an impact many times over what a minion like Joshua Sang had.

In any case, if the ICC only deals with the major perpetrators, they should have gone for the then minister of internal security, the late Michuki instead of Gen Ali, and kibaki instead of Muthaura. Unless phrase “the person who bears the greatest responsibility” used by ocampo  changed it’s meaning and I didn’t get the memo…  

Adding this list to the ocampo4 gives us Bensouda8.

Without these Bensouda8, I’ll be the first one to append my signature to Uhuru’s ICC  petition,provided he drops his presidential bid!

My conspiracy-theory-prone mind is still of the idea that inclusion of Uhuru in that list had the ulterior motive of making Uhuru president. Before the whole ICC case, Uhuru was just another also- ran presidential candidate. In fact he could’ve been defeated hands down by one Peter Kenneth, or even Karua.

After being included in the list of ocampo6 (now ocampo4) his political fortunes went through the roof. Most of his supporters whom I call “sympathy supporters” are Kikuyus who feel (and rightly so) that he’s being sacrificed. ICC has therefore turned uhuru into a hero, and if he’s jailed he’ll become a martyr.

The ICC is now considering having the trials start after the elections in March 2013 probably to give uhuru the chance to contest the presidency. The powers behind this case are hoping he’ll win…

Unfortunately,they’re foreigners who have no idea what caused the ’07/’08 PEV and as such they’re not aware that another Kikuyu presidency after kibaki is untenable to majority of Kenyans. Let them keep on backing the wrong horse.

The closest uhuru can get to the presidency in 2012/3 elections is the vice-presidency/ running mate.

Any combination with Uhuru as the running mate and the president being from another tribe outside GEMA will basically stroll into statehouse.Take this to the bank.                            

                  

Is @ukenyatta and his supporters helping @Railaodinga to win the presidency?

June 17, 2012

Everyone (at least those enlightened enough) know that the popularity of Raila Odinga and ODM in the ’07 elections  was chiefly courtesy of the anti Kikuyu sentiments being bandied around then, aka “41 against 1”. He was seen as the most popular candidate to actually trounces kibaki.

At the social level, defeating kibaki was read,and preached, as defeating the Kikuyu. Voters  were convinced by politicians that Kikuyu have had, and had benefited from, the presidency for so long and that the only way to stop this was to come together under ODM,and support Raila.

Voters in the larger Mt Kenya region were mislead by their politicians to believe that it was either kibaki or they’d be run over by the ODM Juggernaut. In fact it was the first time since the advent of multi party politics that the Kikuyu voted, almost to a man,for a single presidential candidate irrespective of one’s sub tribal affiliations. Previously, the sub-tribal Kikuyu divides were always visible. In ’92 & ’97 kibaki got votes from the Kikuyu from  nyeri, while matiba got votes from Murang’a and they divided the kiambu votes with kibaki having the upper hand because of the late Njenga Karume. In ’02 kibaki got votes from Nyeri and Muranga and none from kiambu as they were supporting Uhuru. In fact,the late Njenga Karume (kibaki’s closest friend) ditched him to support Uhuru. Sorry,I digress ..

This idea of “42 minus 1” actually caused the ’07/’08 PEV and the other “causes of PEV” doing their rounds are actually lame excuses.

The only way Raila odinga and ODM can win in the upcoming is if there’s a very popular Kikuyu candidate in contention. It’ll be easy to resuscitate the ’07 idea of removing Kikuyu from power. This would bring most of the ODM votes (which have since drifted) back.

This joining together by politicians to defeat a group of other politicians isn’t all bad in itself. In fact it’s just politics 101.

However, unless one is daft, it’s clear that unity against Uhuru, or any other Kikuyu for that matter, will be interpreted socially as opposition to Kikuyu as a community,with it’s  attendant consequences.

The shortcut to prevention of PEV would’ve been for the people from the Kikuyu community to keep of the presidency. I know they have the Democratic right to vie,but Why can’t they rise above petty rights and focus on the greater good of the whole society? To paraphrase the good book, what will it benefit Kenya, and indeed the Kikuyu community if it gains the presidency and loses the social cohesion as KENYAN community?

As long as We have Uhuru as a candidate in the upcoming elections, whatever rhetoric you hear from politicians is pure unadulterated crap; Kenyans will vote either for or against the Kikuyu! You can take this to the bank.

In a runoff btwn Uhuru and Raila, Raila will WIN. However,it’ll leave the country so socially divided that we’ll be starting again from Zero like we did in ’08.

If Uhuru were to step down from contesting, and no other Kikuyu emerges as a popular candidate, we’d all start talking qualifications, or lack thereof, of the presidential candidates.

What of Martha Karua, one may ask. The answer is simple: she has two strikes against her chances of being the president. For starters, she is a woman. In Kenya we are still at the social level where men and women believe leader means man, and both men and WOMEN will largely vote for MEN, not her.

Secondly she’s a Kikuyu… need I say more?

To all the Kikuyu presidential candidates: “There comes a time when the nation is greater than an individual”.~Saitoti.  Let’s walk the talk!
                               
By the bye, Uhuru can’t beat Raila for reasons outlined above. By campaigning, Uhuru and his supporters are, in all practical purposes and intents, campaigning for Raila.

   

                    

Who has “executive power” over the sex process? Man? Woman?

June 12, 2012

In a heterosexual relationship, the issue of who initiates, and indeed finally gives the green light to engage in the sexual act has always been an issue. This is especially so in cases of unwanted pregnancy where both parties are keen to apportion blame to the other party.

Men brag of having pick-up lines that’d make any woman “drop it like it’s hot”. For their bragging trouble, the society blames them for “impregnating the women”.

In many traditional  societies, a man accused of putting an unmarried woman in the family way (read: impregnating) was given two choices: either “pay for the pregnancy” or marry the woman. Don’t even get me started on the kind of marriage the shot-gun marriage will result in…

I used to think men are inherently born with this ability to have sex with any woman one desired, until I came of age and that theory’s rubber met the reality’s road. To cut a long story short, I realized that all the pick up lines were just that, pick up lines, and that if a woman doesn’t  “feel you”, Your Shakespearean lines are all to nought.

This assumption that men always call the shots in a heterosexual relationship assumes that women are weak, or even worse, less than human without a brain to think and make decisions over their own lives.

This can’t be so bad as it’s been going on for ages. However, just because something is done doesn’t mean it’s right.

As a society, We don’t seem to realize that socializing our young daughters as “weak” and telling them to say no to sex is basically non-sensical: either she is “weak” and can’t say No to sex, or she is human enough to take responsibility for her own life.

I posit here that women have the executive power over sex: they decide when and if the sexual act will happen.

My daughter has the ability and responsibility of taking charge of her life, including saying no to sex. She’s not an animal waiting for some pick-up lines to have unplanned sex. Your’s?              

Women do not have power over rape. That’s a crime just like robbery with violence, and I’m of the opinion it should be treated the same under the law!      

If we had 50% women in Kenya representation in Parliament, Would kibaki have dared to appoint 1woman out of 47 county commissioners?

June 7, 2012

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I doubt it.

The number of women in elective positions in politics dictate the proportion of women in appointive or nominative positions in the rest of government structure. 

This is what I mean by “all other forms of leadership pay homage to political leadership”

With gender parity at the political level, it’ll be easier to make it cascade downwards as opposed to the current paradigm of trying to roll it uphill.

Women have full suffrage rights, the numerical strength and  the leadership capability. If they decided to elect women…

All that is missing is a coherent connection between leadership and politics. There is this pervasive notion in the society that politics is a different kind of leadership; dirty, and one only thugs are involved in. A common refrain you hear when you talk about women and political leadership is that there are other forms of leadership that women are engaged in. This is not something I can argue with because it’s a fact.

The difference between political leadership and other forms of leadership is one of degree than of kind. I know of many women who have perennially been elected without engaging in “dirty politics”. “Politics is a dirty game for seemingly clean people” is just a phrase we need to get over and move forward.  

When we have more women in politics it will forestall kibaki and other male politicians  from taking women for granted, and treating women rights as favours!

Incidentally, county commissioners are equal ( if not lower)  in rank to the  county Governors. By this kind appointments, Kibaki is telling Kenyans that WOMEN CANNOT be GOVERNORS!

I hope women disagree, vote for women governors, and change the country for the better. “If you educate a girl…” what if you elect a woman …? 

        

Kibaki’s Gender-unequal County commissioners’ appointments vs women Governors…

June 5, 2012

When I tell women to elect women Governors, they tell me that “we need good leaders not women leaders”.

The same women are complaining that kibaki didn’t appoint enough women county commissioners??!

Now it’s my time for me to tell them “we don’t need women county commissioners, we just need good county commissioners”.

Who’s laughing now….