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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Men and Women of Integrity are What this Country needs so badly (even more than a change of guard at the helm)...


Are you as good as your word?

Men and women of integrity are people of their word. As their word is, so is their action.

One of the easiest things to do on earth is to say you'll do something, while you have no intention of doing so. You say so just to put off a present pressure not thinking what your word will portend for you in future.

Is your yes a genuine yes? Is your no a genuine no? Do you say yes or no to foster a genuine cause or does the pit of your bowels quake, most of the time you use them, for you mean not what you say?
Pythagoras, the great Mathematician, said ' the oldest, shortest words – yes and no – are those which require the most thought. ' How very true!

When you say, "I'll stand by you come rain come high water", do you mean every bit of it? Do you suffer from bouts of vacillation once you set out to execute that which you say?
These are too many questions to answer at one sitting. Nevertheless, they are enough to drive a point home.

We must be mature enough to become accountable for our word – we must see that we keep it when we give it. Many people pile load after load of guilt upon themselves by not keeping their word, then wonder why they have ulcers, heart problems and motley of other problems.

Our word, when given, is a source of faith to those who receive it, and determines their conduct. When the word is not kept, unbelief develops.

Sometimes people who refuse to compromise truth or principle are viewed with contempt. People who are of questionable behaviour fear to associate themselves with men and women of integrity because they fear their unethical behaviour will be exposed.

Surely, light and darkness cannot be accommodated in the same room. One of them has to bow and leave. Incidentally, something worth noting here is that when light enters a dark room, the darkness has to flee; but darkness cannot dare enter a room that is well lighted. It goes to show that people of integrity are a force to reckon with.

Sadly, people of integrity and unquestionable principle are becoming rarer and rarer by the day. Countless numbers of men and women who were once famed for their integrity are opting for mediocre, second-rate lives (lives that are 'easier' to live as there is less accountability). In the long run respect, honour and moral uprightness are thrown out the window. But don't lie to yourself: you can never lie to your conscience. It will always remind you the wonderful path you forsook for God knows what reasons!

Your conscience is the most important thing you possess, second only to your soul. Guard it! Screen it! Unclog it! For heaven's sake, keep it
alive!
Remember:
• Standing for right when it's unpopular is a true test for moral character.
• Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
• Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself; be lenient to everybody else.
• Excellence is the result of habitual integrity.

6 comments:

MB said...

Thanks for this article - it is one of the best ever written in this blog .... and it gives me hope that there still some decent and honest people out there - people who want to the best for their country and not just for themselves ....

And with this I am breaking a promise not to get involved anymore .... but I felt I had to say at least this.

MB

Anonymous said...

Kalonzo Sasa?

My dear brethren,

This message is addressed to the people of Ukambani region.

My name is Mwinzi Musyoka from Kakuyu Division, Mwingi District. My division is located in the Mwingi North constituency, an area represented by Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka for almost 25 years.

Mr. Musyoka is now gunning for the position of President of the Republic of Kenya in the coming elections. The other candidates include Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga, Pius Mwiru, Nazlin Umar, Kenneth Matiba, amongst others. The total number of presidential candidates is nine.

The candidacy of Mr. Musyoka is significant in various aspects. He is a leader who has for the first time managed to unite the whole of Ukambani behind him and his party, ODM-Kenya. By declaring his candidature for the presidency, he has managed to eclipse such strong Ukambani leaders as Charity Ngilu. Almost all the aspirants for parliamentary and civic seats had to declare allegiance to him to win nominations. He comes from a generation of leaders whose parents have not been ‘somebody’ in Kenya – when comparing him with Odinga’s, Mudavadi’s, Nyaga’s, Moi’s, etc. He manages to pass as your ‘normal’ guy from a ‘poor’ background. His youthful looks have also endeared him to many, especially with people from outside Ukambani. Whenever he gets the opportunity, he often takes time to sell his ‘Mr. Clean’ image – untainted by corruption. Recently, he even disclosed his ‘wealth’ for the whole world to see.

However, behind this fa├žade is a man who most Kenyans have no idea about. Behind the curtain of 25 years, there is nothing, zero. As MP for 25 years, he has nothing to show in terms of community projects or any development projects. Recently I had to spend the night across Kamuw’ongo seasonal river, reason being a bridge that was poorly constructed under his watch (am told the contractor sold the materials) was flooded, having been washed away by flush floods in 2005. I say this with due respect to our brethren in Machakos, Makueni, etc where he is known for his generosity especially when he was Education Minister. Am told he used to distribute scholarships and hold very successful harambees in these regions. They have a reason to give him fanatic support. The most he ever contributed in Mwingi North – recently – was Ksh 30,000/-. Recently he even commented that ‘a prophet is never acknowledged at home’, but for him it is because there is nothing to acknowledge. Whenever pressed on this issue he always says that ‘I was never president!’ He has opposed some of the government’s development projects (water, electricity, roads) promising to bring them back ‘when I become president’. Does one have to occupy that seat to empower their communities?

He Never Forgives

My first encounter with my MP was in the early 90’s towards the first multi-party elections in 1992. He was a senior cabinet minister in the Kanu government and also a senior member of Kanu. I was a university student then and the universities had started implementing the cost-sharing scheme where students had to pay for some of the services such as food and accommodation directly to the universities. He had pledged to assist us (students from his constituency) raise some of the funds. We printed cards and raised some of the money for the harambee. Our disappointment was that what each student got minus what we had raised ourselves was less than Ksh 1,000/= each. And we were not that many of us. We were disappointed at the turn of events and even some students booed him. He was very angry with us and he even vowed never to be involved in any of our activities.

I am narrating this incident as it may have contributed to a large extent his relationship with his constituency and specifically the professionals from the area. He has always kept a distance between himself and the professionals. Insiders have informed us that he has vowed to ensure no one from his constituency gains any influence that is likely to be a threat to his position. That is why he distributed scholarships in ‘safe’ regions. A case in point is that apart from a few illiterate sycophants, there is no learned person from Mwingi North within his inner circle, even among his current advisers and financiers. Again, the current aspirant on a PNU ticket, a Mr. Munuve, has tasted a portion of Kalonzo’s wrath. Having been his political nemesis since 1992, Mr. Kalonzo (that time a powerful government man) had vowed finish him (literally). The guy had to flee into exile only to return after the 2002 elections. Again, even with the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation, out of all the current university students from Mwingi North, only one is a girl.

Will he be president?

While I respect everybody’s right to elect the person of their choice, it is important to consider important facts.

One, he holds on shaky ground at the constituency level due to the factors I have outlined above. The opposition to him due to poor performance is so high he is likely to lose the Mwingi North seat. While he enjoys near fanatical following in the other Ukambani regions, this is not the case at home. Even if he was to be elected president, the constitution does not allow a person who is not an elected MP to become president.

Two, with only two weeks to the election, recent opinion polls show him at a distant third position behind Raila and Kibaki. These are tabulated below for ease of reference. (Polls conducted by Steadman Group, Strategic Research, Consumer Insight and Infotrak Harris, leading research companies)

Presidential Ratings
Pollster Raila Kibaki Kalonzo
Steadman 46% 42% 11%
Strategic 46% 36% 17%
Consumer 43% 41% 15%
Infotrak 46% 36% 16%

He is also unlikely to win in any other province apart from Eastern.

Kalonzo’s ratings by province
Pollster R.Valley Western Nyanza Eastern Central N.Eastern Coast Nairobi
Strategic 9% 6% 4% 69% 5% 2% 5% 16%
Consumer 3% 6% 1% 64% 1% 10% 14% 14%
Infotrak 13% 7% 6% 57% 9% 7% 11% 16%

The constitution requires that for someone to be president, they must garner at least 25% of the votes in 5 provinces. Kalonzo will only manage to get 25% votes in one province, Eastern. And most of these votes will be from ukambani.

From the above analysis, it is obvious that Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka will not be the president next year. It will be a two horse race between Raila and Kibaki.

Will you still vote for him? Please make your vote count this time. There are no miracles, only facts.

After the elections

What is keeping Kalonzo in the race is the hope of getting an ‘attractive’ offer from either of the leading candidates, Raila and Kibaki. An offer such as vice presidency will definitely interest him. But none of them is ready to give in having already made promises elsewhere.

If Raila wins the elections, he is unlikely to ally himself with him. The differences culminating in their parting ways in ODM-Kenya were so severe that coming together again will be virtually impossible. Again both Kalonzo and Raila are known to be people who cannot easily forgive others who have wronged them. There is unlikely to be any ground for compromise. The option will be for Kalonzo to align himself with Kibaki in the opposition benches. The people of Mwingi North and Ukambani will be in opposition and with the unforgiving ways of Raila, will have to wait for at least 5 years for any development to happen.

If Kibaki wins, for the reasons outlined above, a compromise with Kalonzo is possible. He is likely to be incorporated in the ensuing government in a substantial position. Mwingi North and Ukambani’s interest will be adequately represented.

From the above it is evident that whichever way the election goes, Kibaki and Kalonzo will be working together. Again, notice that a vote for Kalonzo improves the chances of Raila being elected.

Which side do you want to be in the next 5 years? It is entirely your choice.

Ben said...

Hello, that was a nice peice of writing. I will like to talk to you about it. so if you have a number, please send me your phone number and I will call you and talk to you about it further. you can reach me at blacdeep@yahoo.com. Thank you very much, bernard

Vikii said...

Mr. Mwinzi musyoka, thank you for that piece. The way I understand it, we are supposed to either support the article or rubbish it. Vikii, being the daring loud mouth that he is, he opts of the latter;

One, every presidential candidate has every right to flaunt their clean side if they have it. As President Kibaki, the man you support for the top job likes to say, all those who will be voting are adults who have been around for some time. All those running for any office are also adults who have been in Kenya"and not some fellows just landed from Europe or Asia". If any presidential candidate is clean,at least as far as corruption goes, the people of Kenya know. If any candidate is corrupt, the people(Yes even their hardcore supporters) know it deep down their hearts!

I do not come from Mwingi north constituency, I cannot claim as much knowledge of the constituency as you (a local), but I have some knowledge about it. I respect your sentiments concerning Kalonzo especially because you are his employer. We have people who feel like you about their MPs in Lang'ata and Othaya constituencies. This is not a problem unique to you, Musyoka.

Now you claim that you met Kalonzo during your college days 'towards the first multi party election' and that 'he was a senior minister'. That is a lie because Kalonzo became minister in 1993. He was Deputy Speaker when you met him. You have also done a wonderful job outlining his failures as your member of parliament. While doing so, you also informed us that he is a darling of the fellows in makueni and machackos because he helped them with scholarships during his tenure at Jogoo house. If you ask me, Kalonzo has been winning his parliamentary seat with a lot more ease than any member of parliament from Ukambani including Charity Ngilu whom you regard as a "strong Kamba leader". When Charity was gladly accepting the direct nomination accorded to her as a Narc Summit member, Kalonzo turned down his and went for the nominations. As a voter in the constituency, you will agree with me he gannered 22000 votes against 2000. Perhaps you should tell us why the voters including you have kept their faith in him. I know Josephat Mulyungi pretty well and I know he is a good man. If he didnt come from Mwingi north, he would be MP. BUT dont you find it funny that an MP with a zero performance over 22 years(25 according to you) would continue to be elected so comfortably each time? Dont you find it funny that Mwingi North was the only constituency in Ukambani to vote with their MP for Moi in 1997 with Ngilu running for president? OK, now assuming that he is as weak as you want us to believe, are you not a very happy man that the day you have been waiting for to dump this non performing MP is coming in about ten days? Dont worry about what the constitution says because it is very clear; If he wins the presidency and loses in Mwing North, we will go back to the polls and elect another president----Sleep easy.

You said that Kalonzo associates himself with illiterates. Methinks you are the only professional he snubs. September Last year,and I am sure you know it if you come from Mwingi, Gideon Mulyungi, the Architectural Association of Kenya chairman was moving into his new home in Mwingi and we went for the house warming. Mulyungi is in my opinion the best known professional from the entire Mwingi District and not only that, who-is -who in Mwingi was there and they all said flattering stuff about Kalonzo. Now since 'you come from Mwingi', that was a major event there and the guest of honour was Kalonzo, are you a professional and if yes, were you there?

Very few people from Mwingi North constituency access weblogs. You sound to me as someone with absolutely no problem with Kalonzo's performance as a national leader BUT one with every problem with his performance as MP. Please do not vote for him, at least not as your MP. Your acknowledgement that he has helped people from outside Mwingi north confirms what I have just said. Kalonzo musyoka Foundation is not about Mwingi north, it is about Kenya. Why you expect it to be polluted with only people from Mwingi North is probably something you should explain.

Now there is something I agree with u on; That Kalonzo's candidature is hurting Kibaki and greatly helping Raila. If Kalonzo pulls out of the race, Kibaki will be home and dry--that's not too hard to see. Your appeal to the people from your region to instead support Kibaki amounts to political conmanship. Those people know, probably more than you do, that Kalonzo Musyoka cannot win. But scaring them with a possible Raila win is dishonest. Those people should vote for the person they feel will do a good job as president and I will be telling them exactly that when I see them. In my opinion, that person is Kalonzo. They should vote for Kalonzo and in the highly unlikely event that Raila wins, so what? What is it that the government does for them that Raila would deny them. He can come in with his trade mark vegeance but the truth is that those people pay their own bills.

P.S, Ritch, thanks for a beautiful article on integrity. That is the kind of stuff I ask of anybody and especially leaders. Hiyo tu.

Taabu said...

Hallo Mwinzi Musyoka from Kakuyu Division? You have the right to your opinion and whether true or false is not for me to judge. But don't you find it funny that you chose to obtusely deviate and deflect the original post to advance your own cause? Please next time you have such a piece send it to Chris and it will definitely appear as a guest post.

Phil said...

I second Taabu and encourage others to e-mail Chris with their views for publishing as main posts.

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