• Kituyi, again, appears the better option to transition the country from the 2010 constitutional framework to one likely to be birthed by the BBI.
• He was a critical intellectual force amongst the ‘Young Turksʼ that generated momentum for realisation of the 2010 Constitution 10 years ago.
Campaigns for the presidency appear to have hit an inflection point.
And as we move closer to 2022, voters will have to choose a president who can reset, rethink and rebuild the presidency around the Covid-19 realities and the Building Bridges Initiative.
This is the work for whichDr Mukhisa Kituyi is best suited.
After his 15-year stint in Parliament and in the Cabinet, and closing in on 10 years as UNCTAD secretary general, it may be time for Kituyi to put his strengths, experience and knowledge to work as Kenya's president.
He fits the presidential leadership bill in confronting Covid-19 challenges as he is known for his comprehensive grasp of scientific knowledge.
Under his leadership he may develop expertise in public servants in the science of infectious diseases who are aware of the implications of vast and growing movements of goods and peoples across Kenya and beyond.
Effective regulation against pandemics hinges upon such qualities and leadership. The Covid-19 pandemic has upended work, love, family and entire sectors of businesses, institutions, including governments and leadership.
The prolonged stoppage of economies and the weak situation of industries risk solvency issues This, in turn, will require more intensive measures to be taken such as capital injections and restructuring.
Communities, cultures, and systems in Kenya have been affected by the pandemic, raising questions of what we have learned from it and what to do moving forward.
Some think now is the time to build a democratic society that binds decisions for everyone without sacrificing minorities and overvaluing majority rule. But the social relations needed to make this work are exposed to three threats — collectively whipped-up fear, excessive control by the state and cultural change pessimism.
These reinforce each other: The fear of losing jobs and new technology for example. You find experts feeding a growing panic based on thousands of job losses, with very little attention given to economic restructuring.
Cultural pessimists, on the other hand, are preaching that the only way to solve the jobs problem is to bring the economy back to normal as soon as possible.
In sum, Covid-19 has underscored economic oppression as the 21st Century struggle in Kenya. It has brought to the fore inclusiveness as a strategic imperative for corporations and investors. Henceforth, demand must come from new sources in terms of communities, regions and markets in a post-Covid-19 Kenya.
The 2022 General Election will be held under the foregoing circumstances. Who then may be up to the task of reshaping the post-pandemic roles and relationships amongst Kenyans in the body politic?
This, considering that the future economy, jobs, education, finance and energy arising from Covid-19 disruptions, calls for changing mindsets, challenging sacred cows and established habits, and embracing fundamentally different roles on the part of leadership.
The moment is of the kind that demands presidential leadership that confronts the pandemic and the aftermath through scientific knowledge and capable public servants.
The coronavirus pandemic and its consequences make clear the intersection of providers of capital, entrepreneurs and society. Kituyi has the soft are to navigate Kenya on this front.
BUILDING BRIDGES INITIATIVE
The BBI sets out to restructure the state and society of sorts.
Kituyi, again, appears the better option to transition the country from the 2010 constitutional framework to one likely to be birthed by the BBI.
He was a critical intellectual force amongst the ‘Young Turksʼ who generated momentum for realisation of the 2010 Constitution. The key takeaway of devolution so far is that it has offered plenty to devolved billionaires but nothing but hardship to the majority working and farming men and women of Kenya.
Kituyiʼs cosmopolitan character may just be what Kenya needs for a president to navigate the ethno-political standoff in every general election cycle that BBI seeks to cure.
The former Trade minister is the Eusi Kwayana (Author of Guyana: No Guilty Race) of our time likely to assert and defend the doctrine of ‘Kenya, No Guilty Ethnicityʼ.
Such a stand will resolve the incessant slogans in varied forms that pop up during election campaigns of 40 against 1 that portray the Agikuyu people as the guilty ethnic group in Kenyaʼs historical ethnic standoff.
BBI at another level seeks to reorganise the Executive to foster a more inclusive political system and greater power sharing in government. Kenyans want their president to succeed but the presidency as currently structured has set up the occupant for failure.
No one man or woman can possibly represent the varied, competing interests of those he or she is president of. In todayʼs digital age, the Executive Office of the President has not just grown in power. Its grown in scope, complexity and degree of difficulty.
Its duties have expanded beyond those of one person. The President, for example, has to manage an executive office, the armed forces, fix the economy, attend to Parliament and comfort the nationals.
But paradoxically, the President endures unparalleled relentless scrutiny in a digital world as well as being thwarted by Parliament, the Judiciary, bureaucracy and foreign leaders.
Until this paradox is fixed, the president will continue to be frustrated by its demands and Kenyans will continue to be disappointed with their leadership.
BBI must, therefore, set into motion a reorganisation act to modify and update the Executive with additional officials to help the overloaded president for the modern digital times.
Kituyi combines management talents, governance effectiveness and temperament to midwife the BBI solutions to Kenyaʼs historical social- economic and political imbroglio.
Saulo Busolo, former Webuye MP