Following last Sunday’s launch of Peter Kenneth’s presidential bid I have watched with amazement and fascination the ‘massive’ following of his Tunawesmake slogan and have decided to go further and check what it really entails. My little understanding of Kenyan politics is that this does not necessarily translate to political following but something that has come up just at the opportune time with Obama’s predicted win which happened this morning. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume at this stage he(Peter) is catching our attention. I start by asking who is Peter Kenneth? A Kenyan with a British father, a sitting Member of Parliament and ranked the best Community Development Fund(CDF) manager or should I say led the best run CDF in the country for how many years in a row? Either way he has his name tagged to some sort of excellence which gives him justified confidence to run for any post I would presume but this time the presidency.
I know in some quarters he has been presented as the ‘Obama’, the much needed saviour of our beloved nation which we all desperately yearn for. Talk to any black man anywhere about Obama-a son to an immigrant black-Kenyan father- and all over sudden you will hear how highly esteemed he is, in many cases he is not expected to do anything for them but the fact that he has excelled in a white dominated society and overcame all odds and not limited to racial-discrimination to ascend to the highest office on the planet makes him an all-time hero to them. We all know how hard that is and ask me and I will tell you for I have got my own experience. To try and run these two gentlemen’s stories parallel to each other is delusional and uncalled for but that is not my focus here. I have a strong feeling that Peter has no any ambitions whatsoever of being the 4th president of the Banana Republic; if it turns out he has, then it would be a laughable idea indeed.
Here is my argument, whoever told him that his long or should we say short stint in the running of Kenyan Football Federation(KFF) and wonderful running of Gatanga Community Development Fund(CDF) amount to getting a ticket to ‘the house on the hill’ is an outright liar.
I personally admire Kenneth for the great work he has done to his constituency, roads are well done and routinely maintained in a country where many roads have been like cattle tracks for lack of a better term for a long time. The thought in many people’s minds though, that because he has managed to utilise CDF- in a country ranked -----most corrupt in the world- should qualify him for presidency is very worrying for me. For one, I consider that as trivialising the magnitude Kenya problem as Gatanga and her people have not much to share with the majority o the rest of the Kenyans. A constituency of -----people compared to a population of about 40million people to me that ratio is inconsequential. It seems roads are the key indicator to his successful legacy as the MP and with all due respect he deserves the accolades but as many Kenyans think these roads are not a privilege to any one Thika Road Superhighway which connects Cape Town and Cairo included, they are our rights! I wonder whether roads will be his sole-focus for his 4years term? Roads might have been one of the most needed things for the constituents in their deliveries to and out of the capital but that would not be the same in Moyale, Samburu or Marsabit as food security and health would be rank higher on their list of priorities. Someone might then argue that he knows his people’s need but I would still not be convinced to put my money on him.
Whoever is advising him that using KFF as his success story is doing him a great disservice. My personal advice would be please forget about it and move on. There is nothing to be proud about the institution. He might feature as one of the ‘good’ fellows to have headed the group but that’s not worth mentioning in any public forum. To many, the mention of the group leaves a bad taste in the mouth. How many factions do we have in KFF today? Please don’t mention them. For me it would have been a success story if he left the group with a strong sense of accountability, better governing systems and laws-that would be success worth mentioning then but now my understanding would be that Kenya would almost be a factional state post-president Kenneth and you can take that to the bank.
What am I saying? The reasons and the means being used by himself and his proponents to drum-up support for him are wrong headed. My argument is that Kenneth should start seeing himself as president of 40million people and not just the ‘Townies’, the elite and well educated president who are to my understanding the one that understand even his slogans of ‘TUNAWESMAKE’ an Obama’s Kenya coined slogan of ‘We can make it’. He needs to convince my folks in the countryside why they need him….ooops…. am forgetting our politics is not about agendas and issues but about tribes and affiliations….What should I do here then? Peter Kenneth seems to be headed to the right way, in which politics should be done in Africa which should be about character and accountability but to me he is not good enough yet! What Africa needs is revolutionary leaders, people who are not worried to use unconventional methods and routes to take us to our always yearning Canaan land. Show me a country in Africa which does not require a revolution and I will show you 50+ states where it has always been yearned for. Where are the revered Mandela statesmen of our time? I am sure they are somewhere! Come out! The last we want is selfish leaders. The cry around the continent is the same, whether in Ibo Nigeria, Ruwenzori in Uganda or Bulawayo in Zimbabwe we want freedom, which will not be brought by stooges of the East or darlings of the West. Whether this can be achieved is another thing all together. Those who have attempted to seek their sovereignty and independence in Africa as it is in the rest of the world have turned themselves to dictatorship and their countries have turned to anarchy while others have been branded as persons of non-grata or worse still ‘arch-enemy to humanity’. Listening to the just concluded US presidential debates there was no single mention of Africa-a crucial part of humanity - by a country that prides itself in freedom and human justice should worry us because to my interpretation we’re are alone in the wilderness and unless we engineer our way out we are going to remain in the quagmire for a very long period of time and this takes me back to my point we need strong credible men and women to lead us in all spheres of our lives!
You would be forgiven for asking why then am I not commenting on some of the other presidential candidates who have already been fronted---my simple answer would be---not worth my attention at all!!