There are very many people peddling a notion that we should give President Uhuru Kenyatta, some time for him to adjust to his office before we start criticizing him. That he is just a couple of days old in the position and it is going to take some time before he can dial an extension within state house. Time that we do not have.
You do not give your child, who keeps pushing their siblings off the chair and keeps grabbing toys from neighbors’ children time to settle in. You deal with the vice with finality. You do not hope a child who is getting into the habit of telling lies time. Unless you wish the world to teach him lessons.
Let me from the onset say that I am pro-government. That I believe government can be a source of so much good, a lot more good that the entire private sector. I also have faith in not only the office of the president but also the person in the office.
However, because of misplaced notions and super fanaticism, we are almost standing at the precipice of the political deification of Uhuru Kenyatta. There is constant news flow of his random acts of kindness and his unending public relations budget. All of which, if looked at in exclusion, are very exciting and a promise of things to come. But in context of everything else, it is worrying.
There is a famous Swahili proverb that says “Siku njema huonekana alfasiri.” Loosely translated, it means we can tell how the day is going to turn out by daybreak. So far, it has been a very interesting morning, albeit disappointing. And this is going to be a very long morning, if not day, for Kenya in as far as the actions of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee government is anything to go by.
Having gone against most of the things they had laid out, we have to admit, the presidency is not leading by example. And it is not an issue of settling in. Otherwise, North Eastern may resort to being Kenya’s largest graveyard. There seems to be a bullish drive to get things done, and at the same time advocating for dialogue, something they seem not to be interested in. And when the chest thumping fails, the government is resorting to begging. Begging 200,000 plus teachers not to go on strike, yet you cannot handle a few members of parliament.
This thing called dialogue is a demon in this administration. Because, and mostly so, we only get to dialogue when the government has time, or when they feel they need to. The recent bullying of the Salaries and Remunerations Commission in the official residence of the Deputy President was a bad show. The blatant disregard for the Senate and passing of the Appropriations Bill rather than seek a continuing resolution to keep the government running was very unfair of the president. His reasons, outlined in a press statement from State House Nairobi, are a lot more worrying. Where was dialogue?
We are all alone. Because of the International Criminal Courts indictment of the President and his deputy, we are very limited on who our development partners are. The US and other powers may actually limit what we are getting in terms of foreign aid support. This government will then have to be overbearing to just keep going, forget providing services. There will be taxes, we agree. But honestly, some of it is avoidable.
Couple that with misplaced priorities in the free-but-not-universal laptop promise to ‘some’ pupils joining class one. The distribution and the pilot test for this program is even more wanting. Mostly because it means by the time it is fully being rolled out, some students will be at a disadvantage.
History does not favor us. Not one bit. Multi-billion government projects have stalled even after 90% investments have been made. Food security is threatened. The National Cereals and Produce Board cannot even supply fertilizers to farmers with a government guarantee at hand. North Eastern clans have resorted to their favorite pass time of ‘Lets-shoot-each-other.’ There are 2 police commissioners and we do not know who leads the force.
Yet the greatest failing of this government is the inability to lead. As it stands, Uhuru Kenyatta maybe the President of Kenya, but he is the leader of 50% plus a very very minute margin. Kenyans, including the 49%+ that voted in him require and expect a lot more from Mr. Kenyatta.
The inability to marshal the majority in Parliament to kill the salary increment push only moved to show who was not in charge. The open fight between the Leader of Majority in parliament and the minorities in the house was useless. Absolutely.
The pressing issues for the president currently is to lead. Lead in every aspect. To lead focus from Raila Odinga and on to the issue at hand, the issues that we all have to roll ours sleeves and work together at.
The president has said over and over that the electioneering period is over, yet he himself looks like he is on the campaign trail. Standing shoulder to shoulder with retired president Mwai Kibaki and repeating that had no point. There is no excuse for that. You cannot keep reminding people that you are the president. If it is not seen, then there is a problem.
Good morning Mr. President, smell the coffee.
Acting Corporate Team Leader,
The opinion expressed here are his own.