*By Concerned Comrade John Gwambo*
Most if not all of those who consider themselves “young” elected leaders in Kenya are a generational disaster. Whether they are members of the county assemblies, national assembly or senate, or whether they are allied to tangatanga, kieleweke, Nasa coalition or whatever bit is left of it, they constitute men and women who stand for nothing when it comes to greater ideals of leadership and the making of nations.
The current state of affairs in the political parties including the ongoing purge in the Jubilee leadership has exposed our young elected leaders for what they truly are, an inconsequential and dispensable support cast.
Instead of greater courses and principles, the lives of this crop of young leaders revolve around three individuals; Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga and William Ruto. Take away these three names and our young elected leaders in both houses of parliament will be at a loss and that’s because most of them stand for someone instead of something.
Kenya has seen and known young elected leaders in the past who stood for the country and greater ideals. Mwai Kibaki and Tom Mboya were industrious cabinet ministers in their early thirties and both shaped the destiny of Kenya after independence in their respective fields, Mwai Kibaki in economics and Tom Mboya in politics.
Then came the seven bearded sisters of the parliament of the late 70s and early 80s, a small group of radical members of parliament that kept the authoritarian KANU executive on check and parliament accountable. The youthful MPs were mostly elected for the first time to parliament in 1979 and they included James Orengo, Koigi Wa Mwere, Mwachegu Wa Machofi, Chibule Wasuna, Wasike Ndambi and Lawrence Sifuna. Of note again these leaders were younger than today’s generation of young leaders but they made a statement because they stood for something but not someone.
Finally came the young Turks of late 80s and early 90s, these young leaders were brought together not by individuals but greater courses, political reforms and most specifically the quest for multi-party system of governance. Even though there were many political giants around them like Masinde Muliro, Martin Shikuku, Kenneth Matiba and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, it is their commitment to greater course and not individuals that made the young Turks stand out. It is these young leaders that proceeded to grant Kenya a vibrant parliament between 1992 and 1997 with the likes of James Orengo, Martha Karua, Anyang’ Nyong’o, Fara Malim, Mukhisa Kituhyi, Rashid Mzee and Paul Muite among others looking for all the paths and worthy alternatives to the KANU government.
Fast forward and draw a comparison if any today, when our alternative leaders – the young elected politicians are out shooting people in pubs like wild hunters, they are invoking God’s name and exhausting the entire text of the holy scriptures in zealous devotion to narrow courses. When they are not lining up for government contracts, they are lining up for handouts ahead of weekends of running political errands. Short term goals are the aim of these present day elected young leaders. They see politics not as an opportunity to serve but a self-serving avenue to unaccounted wealth and unchecked power, some of them as a result would not pass a random life style audit today. Most of them by the shear appetite quite frankly represent a gluttonous future that should be avoided by Kenyans.
Without a course, without ideals its not enough to be young.
Read more articles by John Gwambo:
1. A Parliament of Relatives. Click here to read.
2. Obado the Lone Ranger. Click here to read.
3. The Controversial Murathe. Click here to read.
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