People may not be able to articulate this, but through elections, leaders rule or exercise power over people not for people’s benefit but their own.
To rule, a leader or president will exercise power over people and their country, tempering the violence of the sword with restrictions of the law.
What can we then say is Kenya to President Uhuru?
For 40 million Kenyans, Kenya could be a common home that is equally owned or it can be exclusive property of the president for the entire duration of his presidency and all other Kenyans would be his tenants.
As his property, the country will be president’s business or farm to be managed for his exclusive profit. The country will also be a source of resources to be extracted for the president, his family, children, friends and close supporters.
It follows that if the country is the exclusive property of the president, the people can access its resources only at his pleasure when they have begged him to exercise his kindness and generosity to them.
In these circumstances, the president who owns everything that people will beg him to give them – state jobs, contracts, security – will be a benefactor and his people, beggars.
If in a country, resources are exclusively owned by the president, he will function not as God who is the fairest distributor of resources to all but as the greatest robber who impoverishes his people and country by looting from them.
A robber president will rob government properties, people’s businesses, grab their land and steal their tax money.
As a president owns the country, he will also own government of the land. Being different, presidents have different meanings for governments.
For some, it is the mandate to govern for the good of the people, protect people and country against external and internal enemies.
For others, it is the men and women who carry weapons to give him security and carry out his orders. It is the power to protect the sanctity of the country as his property. It is the power to protect him from prosecution by any domestic or international court like the ICC.
Once country and government are viewed as property of the president, all government services are regarded not as rights of the people but favours from the president.
These services will include land, jobs, food, infrastructure, education, water, security, contracts and even life. Hence regard of president as God rather than equal human being.
With Kenyan Presidents as masters and lords of the land, what are ordinary Kenyans to them? They are their subjects and tenants whose taxes for rent are non-negotiable.
They are people whose army and police guard and protect their properties. They are people whom they own, not for slaughter, but work.
In Kenya, the president does not rule for benefit of the people. He governs for his own benefit, family, friends and financial supporters.
Were President Uhuru different from presidents Kibaki, Moi and Kenyatta, he would rule to develop Kenya for everybody by constructing industries for development and jobs. He would construct roads everywhere, not just in a few places.
He would build schools and hospitals everywhere. His government would recruit enough police and soldiers to guarantee everyone security. He would promote agriculture to grow food so no people or part of Kenya would starve and die of hunger.
President Uhuru is not a poor man. He is a rich man who does not need extra wealth. Being one of the richest men in Africa will not give him enduring legacy.
To be remembered and thanked eternally, President Uhuru must not forget why many Kenyans entrusted him with the country’s governance and resources. It was not for self-enrichment. It was not to loot resources for self, family and friends. It was to ensure everyone got a piece of the national cake.
President Uhuru may not know but it is embarrassing when people beg him for jobs everywhere he goes. People should get jobs because they qualify for them.
It is embarrassing for people to beg the president to give them food. Begging takes away their pride and humanity. Uhuru government should help them to grow themselves food. It is embarrassing for grown up men and women to beg security and cry because their loved ones have been killed.
A president who cannot eliminate hunger and insecurity for his people should not be in power. Does President Uhuru ever remind himself that the only reason why some communities perennially suffer is because unconsciously, they are not regarded as equally deserving food as others?
Is President Uhuru convinced that the people of Turkana, Pokot, Baringo and Marsabit feel equal to other Kenyans and deserving food just like the people of Kiambu, Nairobi, Kericho or elsewhere?
Should President Uhuru or any one of us pride himself for drilling oil in Turkana when we cannot drill water for people who are dying of hunger and thirst but have a sea of water under them?