I begin by saying that Kenya needs an overhaul of our political leadership. We cannot afford to have any more years lost to inaction, lack of focus, impropriety and the advancement of selfish interests at our collective expense.
I know that we are tired of the political games and intrigues and if there was a time when Kenyans were ready for a different script, I am convinced that it is now.
Having said so, I am in complete agreement with a reader who reminded me of Albert Einstein’s definition of ‘insanity’. When we keep doing the same things over and over again, and yet keep expecting different results, then according to Einstein, they may be insane.
Why is it that we keep electing people to power just because they are heir to political dynasties, have immense wealth or are part of the elite in Kenya? Perhaps, we ought to have our heads examined.
This is why I am proposing a different paradigm. When you refer to our history, you will see that we have voted for male presidents thrice and have been dogged by the same challenges through out all their terms. I opine that we should be prepared to take the road less traveled come 2012 and vote in a female President should a well-qualified and suitable candidate present herself.
I am not promoting any individual neither am I supporting any party; I am not ODM, I am not PNU, I am neutral.
Hear me out, I am not advocating for affirmative action. Instead, I am saying that we need to be stirred off our comfort zones and see the capability of women to be equally good or better leaders for our country. Our African woman is one of the most hardworking species in this world.
The acceptance or lack thereof, of female leadership lies in our psyche. But I say to you that readiness begets opportunity. We will be blind to such an opportunity and possibility if in our minds and hearts, we are stuck to our African chauvinistic tendencies.
Look around us, I am not advocating for a completely alien idea.
There are both developed and developing countries who have taken this route. Some of the women have been part of ruling dynasties, others have been appointed into power, while others have fought it out among the electorate. It is interesting to note that Ireland, as an example, has been led by two women from 1990 to date, both elected.
Other notable mentions include Liberia, Germany, India, Bangladesh, The Philippines and the U.K. Even our own EAC partner, Rwanda, had a woman Premier before their civil war in 1994.
One thing that is clear is that these countries decided to overlook the gender factor and focus instead on leadership capability. I am proposing that this could be a strategic option that warrants serious consideration by Kenyans. But it is not as easy as simply voting in a female candidate.
I declare that we must be convinced of the candidate’s sincerity; we must buy into their cause and call to serve Kenyans. This person should have a track record that demonstrates honesty, integrity and accountability, and must be devoid of any corruption overtures. Most importantly, the candidate should have a vision that restores confidence in our country and leadership in order to enhance development.
I am daring us to think outside the box. If someone had told you five years ago that America would have a black President in 2009, you might have declared him/her a false prophet, a not so uncommon phenomenon lately. But America rose from among the racism ashes to demonstrate to the world that anything is possible, if only we want to change.
Well, this is it for Kenya. Are we desperate enough to mobilize our 50 percent female population to believe that a woman is equally capable to lead Kenya and perhaps even vote her in?
Kenya is faced with challenges of building one nation yet all that the men leadership of the past 40 years has done is to build tribal groupings. We are more tribal today and we will do anything for our tribe without any hesitation ore remorse.
The nation called Kenya is fast disappearing.
Mothers are known to care for their children or any child in the community. We couldn’t need motherly care in this country more than now. We saw how deep-rooted the division is among Kenyans after the 2007 general election.
I fear seeing a repeat of the same unless we do something different like they did in America where the government had destroyed relations with many world countries and equally destroyed the economy.
They brought a black man who is capable of turning the economy. I am sure Kenya needs that shock therapy.
We know traditionally women have never supported their collegues but we must educate them that they are equally capable. That they can change the economy and ensure Kenyans don’t sleep hungry.
We have seen mothers caring for children in IDP camps where men left them, probably looking for the nearest pub to quench their thirst.
I may only be dreaming but let us hope that when I wake up, I will realise that my dreams had actually turned to reality.
God bless Kenya with its people.