A usual surprise is that even with the weight of poor leadership, we still go to the ballot and settle for the same. Settling for leaders who promised a better Kenya during elections, but have done little to fulfill that
OPINION: David Mwaure Waihiga
On 28th August 1963, a preacher and civil rights leader who had long dreamt of the liberation of men and women of colour from the shackles of segregation delivered a speech that would define the future of his country, I have a dream. In this speech, Dr Martin Luther King reminded the American people of the many failed promises made during America’s independence.
I believe it‘s a coincidence that I have the opportunity to write about the president Kenyans need. A president that Kenyans have dreamt of for the last 59 years. – during an election scheduled for the 9th August, 2022.
We should go to the ballot with absolute clarity on our discontent and disillusionment. Express our anger on the scale and depth of corruption, the inefficiencies of the labour market and wanton despair expressed by the citizens.
A usual surprise is that even with the weight of poor leadership, we still go to the ballot and settle for the same. Settling for leaders who promised a better Kenya during elections, but have done little to fulfill that. Settling for five more years of discontent and disillusionment. Of corruption. Of the inefficiency of the labor market. And of the bleakness of our future.
Six years after Peter Kenneth and Ronald Osumba lost their presidential bid in 2013, Ronald Osumba delivered an Engage Talk titled Battle Hardened. In this speech, Ronald spoke about his surprise at losing the election, especially considering the support they received on social media. Even with their proven track record in academics and corporate performance – even with Kenyans knowing how badly they dreamt of a change of guard, Kenyans had still chosen to settle for the tried, tested and untrue.
Thinking about a president Kenyans need, I know that I am speaking to the hearts and minds of Kenyans when I say that Kenyans are looking for an honest, hardworking and capable leader. A leader not blemished by corruption. A Kenyan who comes to the stage with no obligation to pay off all the parties who supported his campaign nor seeking a return on their investment. A Kenyan who has not been part of the system entrenched in corruption. The resilient spirit of Kenyans means that at every election, we know who we want and need. Instead of making bold choices, we settle for the proverbial ‘the lesser evil’.
When I think of the president that Kenyans need, it burdens me greatly that we are still so comfortable with our capacity to triumph over our challenges. That instead of choosing the leader who stands out as the best candidate, we choose to settle. We always pick one of the two horses in a two-horse race because it is better to settle for poor leadership than to dare to dream. When Mwai Kibaki, Kenneth Matiba and others contested against President Daniel Arap Moi in 1992, Kenyans dared to hope for better – but the split votes gave President Moi ten more years of leadership. Kenyans arose in 2002 and did what it took to bring in a new crop of leadership. The 2002 landmark election changed the trajectory of our country and facilitated transformations that we still talk about today.
20 years later, we are at another crossroads. Kenyans, are exhausted by the empty promises Why, then, are we still being very tentative about changing our crop of leadership? Why? Why should we choose a party that proposed an impeached governor as a gubernatorial candidate for another county? Why should we choose a candidate who has given no answers to all the corruption scandals they have been accused of? Why should we choose a candidate who proposes income-generating activities that go against the grain of what we have been taught as sons and daughters of the African soil?
I dare say that Kenyans know the president that they need. I present my candidature as one who understands the political system – having been in politics for 22 years. A candidate who understands the legal system – being a lawyer for the last 39 years. And a candidate who understands the economic system – having also written a book on corruption – Hope for Kenya.
Fellow Kenyan, would you dare to dream of a Kenya you have hoped for so long? It doesn’t matter what the polls are saying. What matters is what your head and heart are saying. If you want the truth, if you want commitment and if you want a realization of your hope, #Badilisha.
There is indeed Hope for Kenya!
David Mwaure Waihiga
Agano Party Presidential Candidate