It would be safe to say that Kenya has turned a corner as far as politics is concerned when our Supreme court decided to have a re-election. In Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba’s words, there seems to be an introduction of “hygiene” into our Kenyan politics and judiciary. Hygiene in our politics and judiciary is the condition that has been lacking in this country for the longest time. It was lacking during the time of our father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, it was lacking during the reign of Daniel Arap Moi, then Mwai Kibaki and now during Uhuru Kenyatta.
The reason why it has been lacking for so long is because we chose to build our country based on tribes. Since our forefathers and even up to today, we value a person’s tribe more than their character. Just like Martin Luther King Jr. believed that for America to be a great, it had to judge people based on the person’s character rather than the color of their skin. I submit to you now that for our beloved Kenya to be great, we must judge people based on the content of their character and not on their tribal affiliations.
There is an African proverb that says “Unity is strength. Division is weakness”. Our country’s potential has not been exploited for almost sixty years because we divided ourselves into smaller communities rather than bring everyone together into one community. But all this can change if we choose to judge our leaders and each other based on character rather than the tribe. The vision of Kenya 2030 will not be achieved for as long as tribalism and corruption are the rulers of our everyday life. Kenya will not be the middle-income country which provides a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment if we allow tribalism and corruption to rule our everyday decisions and govern our thinking.
But for us to rectify these two main problems namely tribalism and corruption, we’ve got to address the deeper issues such as morals, ethics and principles in our society. These two problems have sprouted wings because we forgot or ignored the importance of morals and principles in our society. A lot of the problems in our society today, apart from the tribalism and corruption, were all caused because of diluting the importance of morals and principles such as integrity, responsibility, honesty, truthfulness, transparency etc. Once these principles could be bent, it opened the doors to a society whereby corruption and tribalism was the norm in everyday life.
This catastrophic disease seems to have spread like a cancer to the very heart of our nation. These problems are found not just here in Kenya but in all other African countries and our societies are the ones which pay the price. But for us to change our nation we must first start by taking a closer look at ourselves and making the necessary adjustments to ourselves first. In doing this, we will be ensuring that Kenya has a better future and it all starts with us. And our first big test will come on Tuesday 17th October 2017 when we return to the ballot boxes to choose the fate of our nation for the next five years.
Theodore Roosevelt said that “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong”. The Supreme Court found that there was a wrong that was committed during the elections in August and decided to uphold what was right amongst the wrong that was committed. They found irregularities that went against the constitution and came to the rightful decision to call for another election. I think we should congratulate the judges on that bench for the integrity, commitment, honesty and most of all the courage to uphold the rule of law against the common practice around the world. They showed the whole world that there is hope in world politics, that some hygiene can still be found somewhere.
As we return to the ballot boxes on that fateful Tuesday 17th October 2017 let us have in mind the kind of Kenya we want to start building for our future generations. We want a Kenya in which we have roads connecting the East of Kenya to the West of Kenya, from the South of Kenya to the North. We want a Kenya which has state of the art hospitals that prevent mother and child deaths during labor and increases the life expectancy of Kenyans. We want a Kenya that sees value in knowledge and strives to make its citizens well rounded. This can only be achieved by a good education system that, not only meets and addresses African needs, but also allows a Kenyan to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the people of the world.
We want a Kenya that competes with the rest of the world in pushing the boundaries in innovation and technology and this is achievable by investing in technology and information technology. We want a Kenya in which every Kenyan is contributing to the growth of the nation and can put food on his/her table. We can achieve this by reviving our vocational schools and equipping our people with these practical skills. We want a Kenya in which young people with big entrepreneurial ambitions are given a platform to showcase their ideas and help to propel themselves and this great country forward.
Most of all we want a Kenya that stands for the truth at all cost. A Kenya that upholds the law and constitution in the running of the country. A Kenya that values traits such as integrity, responsibility, courage, transparency, honesty, accountability and service over material things. A Kenya that will judge a man or a woman based on the content of their character and not their tribe. Let us elect the leaders who will start the process of laying down some of these suggestions into the foundations of this great country so that Kenya may have a future and that future may shine bright.
Truly, I say to you now, if we do this, then this country will become great.