Democracy has to be nurtured in order to take root. Some institutions have to play their part properly in order to achieve national discipline. Main institutions are largely government and the media. While president Kibaki might have done exceptionally well in economic sphere, his leadership in other areas has been lukeworm, if not practically absent. A leader is not only supposed to inspire the country, but also give guidance on all major issues. President Kibaki has miserably failed to do that. Infact, 2007/8 PEV had something to do with that ineffective authority. Had president Kibaki come out early enough and declared law breakers were to be punished heavily regardless of their status in life, may be the situation would have been very different indeed. But some times, you have to wonder whether he is still around! Noticed even asfter slaughter of 42 policemen, highest casualty number ever witnessed in the country, by bandits, instead of declaring national day of mourning, its business as usual? He is supposed to come out these policemen were just low-level government officers, but our best sons/daughters in the frontline. Certainly there is a serious crippling disconnect some where.
While our media has done wonderfully well in all spheres of reporting, their take in politics is certainly wanting, if not outrightly below par. They are too tribal and have no hesitation in reinforcing a tribal idea. They give publicity to thats not even good for the country. Forinstance, if a politician is said to have “numbers” because he comes from a big tribe, the press never tries to correct that position. They only keep hyping on those numbers that are hardly good for the country. And such politicians hardly have anything to offer. Their deceitful words are however, roundly fed on gullible population without question.
Good ideas from other leaders are quickly ridiculed and insulted. In run up 2010 constitutional referendum, that was pretty played out. While it was clear that no single Kenyan was opposed to the law, PM Raila Odinga was all over the place calling people names. He started by calling the clergy pretenders and non-reformers. Then VP Kalonzo Musyoka, whose was actually behind the new document, while attending church function cautioned that religious people were our brothers as well. Raila retorted that the VP was supposedly a watermelon. The PM apparently purported that VP was “opposed” to the document at night and in “favor” during the day. However, as earlier stated, no one was opposed to the law.
The bottomline was “WHEN” to effect changes on 25% that was bad and more. However, the tribal media started overplaying these non-sensical pronouncements by the PM. Indeed unlikely “opposition” was created from no where. This just one example of how our media has helped discard important issues for the cheap tribal stuff. There are too many instances that indicate we are off target because twisted opinions. Even the so called opinion polls that have miserably failed to meet minimum of law, are highly publicised for self-serving purposes. Questions about their authenticity are never asked by the media. Infact, the latest polls purported to show that they conducted/produced long time ago. However, what they were talking about was clearly VP Kalonzo’s reported depture from G7 a day earlier!
For ideas and issues to be the main items in our campaigns, respect for same must be there. VP Kalonzo Musyoka has been very idealistic and quite issue-oriented. Free education, 24 hour economy, 2,000/= for our old folks and presidential debate are some of his ideas. Needless to say, the other guys havent come up with even crude ideas! He is also the only character that has not stolen frm the public. His diplomatic skills, that have made internationally recognized peace maker, have served this country pretty well. If he were to be elected president of the nation, Kenya will comfortably side on the table of international community. Nevertheless, since he doesnt belong to communities that control media, these no mean achievements are actually dismissed. Hiw then are we to folow USA example? And remember, when VP Kalonzo declared his wealth in run up 2007 elections, that action laughed off by opponents who were not CLEAN AT ALL. The media made Kalonzo’s most decent approach to all important issue a laughing matter!
The country is festered by poisonous tribal politics. But the media has failed to country that bad trend. Infact, they have only been too happy to pursue the empty tribal so called two-horse race. The two-horse is actually about two tribes: Kikuyu on one hand and the luo on the other. However, Kenya has 42 communities! Where are the rest communities, who might not be interested in these two outposts supposed to go? Kenyans must be allowed to definite their direction without tribal prodding. Press should make sure only those issues which are collective good for the country are highlighted. Anything short of that will keep us down forever.