What kind of leader do Kenyans want?


Kenyans, Kenyans! Why, oh why, do we allow ourselves to be consumed by such negativity?

Reading the comments posted on the various stories on this website – including on sad news like the demise of an MP – you get the feeling that Kenyans are on the verge of despair.

We despair because, as we all claim, our leaders have failed us. “They seem to have ignored why we elected them to leadership,” is what many people appear to be saying.

But perhaps we ought to take a break and examine ourselves keenly and critically (only you and I for now, minus the ‘failed’ leaders). When we say the leaders seem to have forgotten why we employed them, what exactly do we mean?

Lately, we have “unanimously” agreed to vote out the entire lot in our current government. While we are very sure of the kind of leaders we do not want, are we as certain of the type of leader we would like instead?

Let’s face it:: We do not want a leader who refuses to pay taxes, who preaches divisive politics, who wastes time blaming political opponents for his failures, who oversees the mismanagement of the CDF monies, who is highly sycophantic of his party boss, or one who looks for the easiest way to the cookie jar.

We are fed up of the current politicians because all they want is to push for higher perks without due regard to our struggling economy. They have stolen our maize from the national granary, petroleum from the Mombasa storage, sold off swathes of land to Middle Eastern businesses and basically run this country aground.

So, what kind of leader do we want instead?

You see the problem is that we haven’t quite defined our expectations of the leaders we elect to office. That may be why we see the same calibre of people vying for the seats, and why we get frustrated that those who are ideal leaders do not vie for posts.

Perhaps it’s time we stopped screaming about the failures of our leaders and the things that annoy us about them. It’s now time to focus on the kind of leader that we want.

When all our talk shifts to what we want, instead of what we have and don’t want, then even the current crop of ‘failures’ can realise how serious we are and (hopefully) reform.

Today, tell your colleague or friend what kind of leader Kenya deserves to have and let the word spread. By 2012, the campaigns will have shifted focus from empty rhetoric to substantive debates.

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