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February 19, 2018

Bad leadership bleeds poverty and impunity

I condemn in the strongest terms possible the approach Jubilee has taken towards purchasing leadership instead of guiding and entrenching democracy.

Correct leadership can only be chosen freely on a level playground that embraces democratic principles. In the August 8 election we witnessed, specifically in Nyamira, a lot of money dished out to confuse and mislead voters by exploiting their poverty levels. Voters were being blackmailed and coerced to elect leaders who fitted into the interests of Jubilee and not necessarily out of their conscience. The President and his deputy are using public resources to forcibly revert to the old style of a one-party dominated political ground. Kenyans will resist this at all costs. This old Moi style of leadership will not be acceptable by all Kenyans. We have fought hard for free space against individuals hell-bent on controlling the majority, and that is the way to go. Good leadership is willfully given by the people, not compelled or unconditioned. The people give such leadership in expectation of good leadership and development, with proper social order, in anticipation of welfare for all. Any attempt to condition, to hoodwink or purchase the goodwill in leadership normally ends in chaos, disintegration and selection of leaders who are not necessarily the choice of the people. What Jubilee is doing at the moment is a situation where they are compelling, conditioning and unwillingly guiding the people in a direction they would not have taken were they given an opportunity to make choices.

Kenyans have been rendered poor because of a series of bad leadership since Independence. Bad leadership because equity and fair distribution of resources and development were not embraced, in which case poverty is spread across the country. It is easier to entice poor people to do what is not of their choice because they are poor. What Jubilee is going around dishing out money, bribing for that matter, and even giving false promises is a kind of leadership that will not achieve equal development across the country. That will not guarantee productive leadership, but will only lead to a selection of sycophants.

The move Jubilee is making, to say the least, is neither acceptable nor democratic, but misleading.  We are aware that some of this money is endlessly flowing into the people’s hands because they want to stay in office, so strongly.

The writer is the ODM Treasurer

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