By: Yegon Emmanuel
If only I were a leader, though I surely am. If only I had the ability to change Kenya in one day though I surely can! If only we knew the degree of neglect by our leaders and the extent to which they have abandoned us!
Kenya today is headed by leaders who have perfected the art of PR. Am not saying public relations is a vice but rather why would we be led by a group of position holders who only talk without translating the endless talk into actions? How much does a country get in terms of spoken policies and social media publicity? How many projects were used by these very leaders in soliciting for votes from the electorate have become a reality? A lot of roads are still in the same conditions and others are much worse. How many homes today have access to electricity as they had promised in 2013? How many new primary school has been built in the village to improve the education of your children? Has the initial bursary fund of 2000 shillings increased to enable the poor child acquire education like the rest? Is there any change in the health sector? Has your area MP built the maternity wing in the local dispensary to reduce child mortality rates? In short, how real has your leader been in delivering what they said apart from the obvious social media blurts?
This is the same reason we have cases of unemployment, insecurity, conflict, illiteracy and dire poverty. We are still wallowing in abject poverty in the 21st century just because the people we entrust with our votes are becoming position holders and not leaders. I know of a governor who lives far away from his county in a mansion he bought in the neighbouring county while the people who elected him suffer, have poor roads, limited social amenities, and live in the worst of conditions. This is the same governor who would heavily pay for a magazine written in his name about the ‘so much’ he has done when actually there’s not a single thing he can even point out himself.
All along the highway you will see selling and hawking farm produce and other products to at least earn a living. It is only if they were provided with the right platform to trade and opportunities created for them to buy and sell whatever they produce, that they would be liberated from the pangs of poverty. Our leaders who travel on these roads are not moved by these and find it normal but I think they are seeing this as an opportunity they would make use of in returning to power. Most politicians operate on the Machiavellian philosophy of ‘the end justifies the means’; so they would better leave the people in a constant state of want so that they create another promise out of their desperate situation. Until we have a person who will lay down achievable plans for the development of their communities and for the easy access to basic necessities, then we do not have leaders.
In as much as our leaders have problems, we also have our share of blame. If only we could wake up from our deep slumber and realize that we are being exploited, if only we realize the much power we have by virtue of being voters and key deciders of whoever we want to lead us. Time is nigh for us to realize that we have the veto power to shape our future and stop the type of leadership we have today. We can make leaders who not only speak and share meaningless updates on social media but also deliver and constantly drive for meaningful change.