BY NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU
Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
Thank you for Kenya. It is a lovely country, with just the right weather, and where the sun and moon come out and go down when they should. It is also made up of lovely people, warm and kind; most times. Thank you also, for the existence of a State; that system that has kept the country together, continuously, for 51 years. Thank you also for the privilege of being Kenyan; it is not something to take for granted. Above all thank you Lord; that we are Kenyans at a time like this when Kenya is redefining for itself what kind of nation she wants to be.
As we venture into 2015 I want to pray for the key Kenyan constituencies as they face the year ahead.
First I would like to pray for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his team in State. The Bible says it is you who chooses who to give authority to over your people; and today it is Uhuru Kenyatta you have put in office. I pray that as he governs you will be his source of ALL things; wisdom; knowledge; understanding, favor; etc. Be to him what you were to King Solomon. Remind him, consistently; that his is a responsibility that few get; and that without you, many who get it fail terribly.
I pray that you will also impress on him that his primary role as President is to bring Kenyans together, at all times, not to scatter them apart, at any time. I pray that this understanding will define everything he, his Deputy President William Ruto, his Cabinet, or any other state functionary, does in office. I also pray that you will give him the discernment to know who to entrust with which role, at every juncture.
Secondly I would like to pray for the Jubilee political formation. In your own wisdom you chose this out of many other formations that wanted to run Kenya. My prayer is that you keep reminding them all through 2015, that it is not just power they got; but also responsibility. Let me understand, especially at leadership level; that their role is to provide Kenya with political direction, and unite Kenyans across their various social divides. Remind them, continuously, that the tyranny of numbers they pride themselves on is a gift from you, which you can take away at any time. Let them use it for good; to build Kenya, not to destroy it. Finally, let them understand that humility is a virtue.
I also commit CORD before you. I pray that you will help them understand Kenyans expectation of them; that they are the political counter-weight to Jubilee. Help them realize that although they might have lost the last election, Kenyans still voted them a mandate; to hold Jubilee accountable on behalf of the Kenyan people. Help them use their political expertise to this end, and to set a standard that Jubilee must surpass or risk losing the public’s confidence, especially in policy formation.
Father remind them that they and Jubilee share one common mandate; that they are the ones you have chosen as Kenya’s political elite; the ones that Kenyans look up to for political direction. They must always come together on those issues that are about Kenya’s national interest; over and above their partisan positions. (Incidentally this also applies to the Jubilee Coalition)
The fourth sector I commit to you in 2015 are all those organized social groups and institutions in Kenya that are opinion shapers at local, regional and national level. This includes private sector associations, cooperative societies, unions, women and youth groups, religious institutions, etc. I pray that you will give each group an understanding that of what level of influence they have in society, and the wisdom to use this influence positively for the betterment of Kenya.
Fifth; I pray for all those who are opinion leaders, at various levels in and about Kenya. I especially bring before you the media fraternity, international community, civil society and now; the #KOT or Kenyan blogger. Lord help each individual here understand that the platforms they use are the proverbial ‘tongue’; with the power to build or to destroy. Give each of us in this fraternity the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to affect Kenya positively, in 2015.
The final group I bring to you is we, the Kenyan people; as a whole. I pray that you will help us understand not only the rights and powers that are ours due to our new constitution; but also the responsibilities that were bequeathed to us simultaneously with those rights. Kenya’s sovereignty is us; let us show it in how we handle ourselves to each other, and to others outside ourselves. Father teach us what it means to be Kenyan; give us a common Kenyan dream; and give us the energy to live it.
(Wambugu is a Director of Change Associates, a Political Communications Consultancy)