Click on the image for all the information YOU need!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Follies Of Old Leadership


Friday’s formation of the Government’s minimum wage committee was the second strongest signal yet sent to a growing number of right thinking and increasingly concerned Kenyans that the current leadership governing the affairs of the country does not represent the much anticipated change and desired break from the past old school of political thinking.

Are you really serious that we need another committee? What is it going to do other than turn stones that have already been turned in the past in the name of finding out how to improve the welfare of the Kenyan labourer?

The creation of this committee does not in anyway represent the radically different approach to governance Kenyans had hoped this monstrous 42 member “grand” coalition Government would adopt in restoring the dashed hopes many of us still feel after the post elections fiasco and at a time when the worlds problems are knocking on our door in the form of food crisis, soaring fuel prices, housing market collapses and credit crunches

But this is how “old” leadership thinks; instead of commissioning immediate emergency relief assistance to millions of people bearing the brunt of modern life's crisis and the disasters of nature, they assault their citizenry by hitting them over the head with a leadership style that lays the responsibility of progress and survival on anyone but those elected to lead.

In Zimbabwe old architect of past decay President Mugabe is mastering the art of assaulting by leading a dangerous cavalry charge against the clear outspoken will of a whole nation representing the determined voice of an international community unyielding in their wish to see the back of Bob for good.

This is the stigma that old leadership bears with it. Likewise, the time to form committees to address levels of corruption or measure the plight of the Kenyan worker or even air the grievances of prison warders is long over. There is no escaping the need for a embracing a steep reformist agenda-did the leaders we campaigned for in 2007 know the type of leadership we were serious about having in 2008?


How i long for bygone days when the then enigmatic local government minister late Karisa Maitha would bulldoze his way into a local town council and take immediate action against errant council workers, forcing them to mend their errant ways. During his stint as local government minister he even exorcised the dead in the name of sacking shady ghost employees scourging our local town councils of millions of Kenyan shillings

Even current environment minister John Michuki had his day in the sun when he rectified overnight the anomaly of the matatu menace that sadly returned to plague our roads with a vengeance after his stint at the ministry of transport was over. In 4 years, current transport minister Chirau Mwakwere is yet to accomplish even half of what Michuki did in his tenure

Those of you who are a little older may remember the famous crime buster Shaw now deceased. Here was a man who did not fear to tread where the criminal elements dominated. In his time the criminal elements of our society were shaken to their very core and his methods of operation were known to be effective, evoking fear in the hearts of the criminal underground. Where are such men of leadership and action nowadays?

Where are the men and women who will stem the tidal wave of corruption that is rooted in our systems and institutions? Where are the leaders who will inspire our nation to restore its lost green city in the sun status? Where are the men and women who will show the way when it comes to shunning tribalism?No wonder the whole of Kenya is groaning under a lead weight of hopelessness-we've lost our way and direction as a nation.

If we have lost our way as a nation (we need a path-finding committee to help us find our way (sic)) then now more than ever before we need brand new leadership and brand new ideas to get Kenya back on the right track. Age is but a number, and old dogs can learn new tricks if they want, but complacency and incompetence will not stand.

Time for change was yesterday. Any good new ideas being suggested today must be acted upon immediately and without fear or hesitation. I for one welcome Chris post yesterday "Lies, Lies" check out the comments section which is filled to the brim and overflowing with positive ideas from urxlnc, chris, mrembo, wanjiku, and infinite annons all willing to contribute to making this nation great once more

Luke's Top 4 most popular Kenyan stories on the web right now
  1. Lies, Lies
2. Mombasa-not always a clean haven

3. Perils of love reduced to size

4. Why do Kikuyu women have a weakness for Luhya men?

sign in to the domo chat room now and chat with Kumekuchans from around the world. just enter a username at the bottom of this page or on your right at the end of the ads on the side of this page and start chatting


Anonymous said...

People, People People of Kenya.

Surely there's need for adult education.

#1. All the Mungiki`s should be obliged to go back to School "NYS" National Youth Service or Community Colleges.

#2. All the old Guards should stop forthwith to intimidate young people because their days in this world are numbered and Kenya Belong to the Young People." To name names i`m talking about the illitrate Njenga Karume, Kamotho , Nyaga and others, the list goes on and on and on......

#3. No Tribalism. Kenya is Kenya and belongs to Kenyans and if anyone want to associate themselves with a certain clan or tribe, they should be deported to India or China. Period...!
#4. MP`s can vie for election anywhere in the country.
#5. Kenyans can buy houses, settle, start Business, Work, Go to School and eat anywhere in the Country.



Kenya needs roads, electricity in rural ares, Fresh water even in North eastern and Turkana and Safety.


#7. No Self Seekers.

All the self seekers should be sent flying to Uganda.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Luke,

We are 45 years past independence mile post. At this point we have immense resources ranging from armchair experts and enthusiasts to experienced professionals who have already published numerous articles describing the various socio-economic challenges as well as possible solutions or at least pathways to solutions. Some of these directly sponsored to address the issues while others more generic or academic.

We are all too aware that this old breed of non reformist politician uses or hides behind committees to prolong or sidestep resolution and thereby enable longevity in office while rewarding cronies with "newly found" opportunities to milk the cash cow that is the kenyan tax-payer. we need to start creating upper/lower limits boundaries so that we put policitians excess in check. e.g max number of terms for MPs, max number of committees per year plus also total max number of committees any parliament can have per year, etc including max number of ministers/assistants, max remuneration package for MPs etc
These guys have not only got too much excesses but have also perfected the matatu culture of bado kuna space for one more (scam, atrocity, remuneration, abuse of power, etc).


Abass said...

Are the young generation any better? I mean we can forget Kibaki and Michuki as their natural days are numbered but are the young any better? You could see how Uhuru was during the election. The problem is, everyone sounds good when they are not in power but they apparently undergo a miraculous overnight metamorphosis once they get power: young or old.

Anonymous said...


good point. we also have martha karua, mungatana with hardliner approach.

i am more for empowering institutions and office holders to uphold integrity values of office and authority to avoid misuse/abuse by executive and more teeth to masses to "discipline" errant public service officers and MPs, but above all, due processes (laid down procedures are adhered to) and only if these processes become an encumbrance to the citizen then the legislators can work towards necessary ammendments.

i must admit although the likes of the late karisa maitha, and michuki were effective, this is really just a rare positive aspect of roadside declarations and is therefore ok if short term, but counter-productive long term. It however aptly captures our "flawed" kenyan mentality of some hero to fix it all, instead of everyone doing the "little" duty perfectly without pressure from above, below or wherever


Anonymous said...

ANON 4:45 PM

hey Githongo sums it up!! kenya today and political parties in place but!!

anon4:40 PM

start by telling the kikuyu's in central to curve out some land for none kikuyu's - if all Kenyans are to settle anywhere?? why aren't there any one -kikuyu land owners in central Lesotho??
Kenyans are tired of those double standards- you correct that first then kenyans will listen!!

kibaki is wasting his time on resettlement by force- he thinks he will give each IDP a police offers??- does he really believe a police station can withstand the force of the people in those communities or provinces if the chose to send back the IDP's to central Lesotho??? Kibaki is a joker- let him know even if he builds 1000 police stations in the Rift Valley !!it will not guarantee's the safety of the kikuyu IDP's if the people of Rift Valley decide otherwise!!! the IDP'S know this and they know why!!
mungiki beheading of the other tribe
Kibaki's shoot to kill order by the police

i tell you nobody has forgotten this and i do pity the IDP'S THAT ARE BEING FORCED TO GO BACK!!how do they expect to deal with neighbors that have also buried their own?? who has sat down with all this people to bring them together to forgive each other?? kibaki will not be there in the next elections- he is actually just delaying the next catastrophes!

7:29 PM

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...


What is your beef with this statement?? the mungiki's are already in NYS(without full training) but to be used to kill innocent kenyan at the pleasure of Kibaki's orders!! shame on you!! it's like you don't know this already - but most people in Kenya are aware!! you think we don't know how it is that the police were always caught unaware or asleep at every mungiki demonstration?? "inside information"

do not insult Kenyans intelligence!!

#1. All the Mungiki`s should be obliged to go back to School "NYS" National Youth Service or Community Colleges.

Anonymous said...

Githongo should have become the 2nd Prime Minister of Kenya and Raila the Best Opposition MP in Parliament of Kenya.

I think.....!

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Kumekucha kweli!! It's Monday morning and the long awaited Kumekucha facelift is here. Congratulations Chris. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I can not in anyway maximize my comments window. However thanks for the makeover!
Do something about the comments window.

Nairobian Perspective said...

with respect to wages,there needs to be a law to compel companies to plough back a percentage of their earnings/profits towards employee wages or benefits and tax incentives be offered to encourage compliance otherwise the gap between the rich and poor will continue to widen

M-Pesa said...

Thanx for the facelift Chris!

The new logo is more gentle and kinder to the eyes!

Kumekuchans spoke, you listened and acted.

If only our foolish leaders could be like that.....

M-Pesa said...


It's evidently clear nearly all our polticians are very foolsih, they don't think beyond their noses. Just one point, taking home 1 million bob per month when Kenyans atarve? Someone please pass me a sick bag!

Kenya also needs enlightened voters. Why on earth do we return the same crooks, thieves, liars and cheats? Why should we kick out the likes of Tuju, Muriuki Karue (CDF act) Muite, Julia Ojiambo...etc.

BP ONE said...

“Time for change was yesterday. Any good new ideas being suggested today must be acted upon immediately and without fear or hesitation. I for one welcome Chris post yesterday "Lies, Lies" check out the comments section which is filled to the brim and overflowing with positive ideas from urxlnc, chris, mrembo, wanjiku, and infinite annons all willing to contribute to making this nation great once more”
Excellent post, Luke, I agree with you, Domo alone won’t help much.We have to act. I am sure soon or later,together we can bell the cat . For those who believe we can’t do it, please, talk and tell us why. I personally will consider that to be of great help. May be from your talks we get new ideas…… who knows?

Anonymous said...

Luke - This is a good post and committees are not the solution to the myriad problems facing Kenya.

In management, we say when you want to buy time you form a committee to help you breathe.

When you are indecisive you buy time through a comittee. When you dont have enough resources to cater for all your needs and the pressure is too much - form a committee and postpone the problem as you sought yourself out.

Committes while good for managment depict the person as hands-off, not sure what needs to be done - and in most instances indicate a form of incompetence.

All the same formation of a committee is a legitimate management vehicle, the tragedy is when you have no intentions of ever implementing the reccommendations - and this is the tragedy of our great nation.

Committees have become conduits of corruption and of enriching their cronies. This is what we should fight. They do not help Kenya today as our problems required solutions yesterday.

On a rather different note - i think the government should get out of the business of dictating how much someone should be paid in the private sector. It hould be a function of productivity, and other macro and micro economic factors. The buyer and seller of human capital should use the market forces. This strategy of setting
minimum wages could be creating more poverty. This is more in plantations and security guard sector where companies make millions and pay so poorly because the governemnt has said. We need to look for other mechanisms for ensuring a just reward for someones labour. The government has no role on this. It would have worked in the days of the controlled prices - but not today. The owners of capital are laughing all the way to the bank. Yet the poor souls are CRYING all the way to the slums. It will even get worse with the food crisis. Ndugu zangu hakuna umasikini mbaya kama wa njaa.

Mzee wa kijiji

Anonymous said...

Mzee wa Kijiji,

What is so wrong with our leadership is it then they cannot be able to make decisions as you indicate in the above post-yet we pay them 17,000 dollars a month plus askari, a mistress, shamba boy, fuel guzzler etc etc. Why do we pay them then? Isn't better mzee just a getting a consultant like Kofi Annan or tony blair to rule over Kenya and just make the cabinet like board of directors. An expatriate president. Am just excited about an expatriate president. Guys we can afford - just reduce the cabinet to 15 and the savings ggo to the expatriate president. We wew yawezekana?

Anonymous said...

anon7:45 AM
An expatriate president??
are you trying to imply that Kenyans are thick?? just because the bunch in cabinet can't do the job ?? we have no other kenyans fit to do the same job??"to be president??

hey no wonder kenyans with the mind frame like yours even boot lick the Chinese- Kenyans like you must start thinking differently no look for expatriates to do all the jobs that many of our kenyans are qualified to do!! I'm hoping that when you posted your comments you were drunk on Tusker baridi or else i can't imagine your line of thoughts!!

Chicity said...


Good post. I think the solutions must come through institutional reform and the mindset of the populace. Clearly, new faces don't necessarily translated into change. Some of the folks he will fight Johnstone Muthama's bill if it ever sees the light of day might be the ones who were shouting themselves hoarse about excessive MPs salaries. Don't know much about Harun Mwau but I'm very impressed by his approach.

It seems like many people go into politics to build wealth. Our political system is a for-profit enterprise, therefore tailor made to serve such interests. This can be changed by:

1) drafting a bill that would put a cap on MPs salaries and benefits (entertainment, car, housing allowance, minimal contributions to their retirement plans..why?). This bill should also stipulate that Parliament cannot vote to increase it's salaries or benefits. If the financial incentives are removed, only those who are truly interested in changing Kenya will vie for the coveted seats.

2) Enforce conflict of interest regulations (if there any in effect, if not draft a bill to be passed by oh no...Parliament). No MP, civil service employee should do business with the govt.

3) A new Constitution with TRUE separation of powers. For as long as we have MPs in the cabinet, we will continue to have this nonsense about pleasing so and so at the expense of the tax payers, while nothing gets done. The cabinet should consistent of KENYAN professionals with proven track records in a given industry. This experience need not be obtained in Kenya. For example, to lead the Ministry of Health - an MD/MPH, Health Policy/Health Admin degree holder with experience running large health care institutions, implementing policy, managing significant budgets etc, SUCCESSFULLY. BTW, I'm not knocking Ngilu - she tried her best and worked hard to improve the system, without any of these qualifications but I hope the point is not lost.

4) Background checks should be conducted on all contestants and the results disclosed to the public. May be the govt agency or the RECONSTITUTED ECK can oversee this??? Every contestant must submit a complete bio of their academic, professional, social lives. Kenyans barely know much about their MPs. Even when they do, they still vote them in. How can we expect change when we do the same thing over and over again??

5) Our focus should change on why we vote people in. We should not elect people to Parliament because they are pretty or funny. If we need comedy or a beauty pageant, there are outlets for that. Before and after the elections, I read about how Kalembe needed to get re-elected because he was soooo funny and brought excitement. How about Wavinya Ndeti is sooo pretty?! There's nothing wrong with being pretty, but was this a pageant??? No one talked about her skills, past experiences and how she's best suited to improve her constituent's lives and contribute positively to the pressing legislative reforms.

6) Vote buying should be an illegal and punishable act. The penalty must apply to the agent of the contestant as well as the contestant. Enought of that giving out 20kshs, salt and shukas for votes!

7) An Act or amendment for a recall to remove all non-performing leeches from the tax payers payroll!

8) I have some ideas on improving the employment laws and getting more out of business owners i.e making them responsible corporate citizens. More on that later. have to run now.

Lastly - if anyone can find one MP who is willing to sponsor such bills, let Chris know. I will provide the necessary input at no cost.

mwarang'ethe said...

Mzee Wa Kijiji,

Ua first part was very okay.

However, in ua last para. umenoa.

To argue, or to state that we do not need minimum pay is ill informed to say the least. For instance, in EU, nearly 3/4 (18) of the Member States have some form of statutory national mimimum wage.

Those that do not have, for instance Sweden, they use sectoral collective agreements. If an employer enters into a contract to pay below the minimum, u can sue can sue him/her for such an agreement is invalid.

If u wish to educate uaself further, see this link:

In any case, ua argument is the echo of the arguments used by capitalists in the USA in 1920's that they could contract with employees to work even 15 hrs a day, in the name of freedom of contract.

The fact that u work 8 hrs a day, has blinded u and many others to origins of these stuff.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:56 AM - Sam Okello for President - I mean the Sahel Publishing crook and not the Kisumu Mayor ..........

I hope there is a difference between the two or let's say, they prove to be different during the next years until the next General Elections and then we will talk again.

To finish with the US - Sam Okell: for the love of the country (although I still don't understand which country he means: the US in which he resides since almost 20 years or Kenya .............

Anonymous said...

Looking up at the above comments, affirms that indeed we have the resources to correct what ails us. Our biggest stumbling block right now is a few hard headed MPs but we also have a lot of cool headed people in parliament, so one of the tasks is to identify such MPs and work with them

Anon 1:02 to resize the comments window place your mouse to the bottom right hand corner of the screen then drag down, diagonal or sideways

Chicity, excellent tabulation of suggestions, these are exactly what should be presented to some willing MPs or Ex MPs and civil society gurus who are constitutional savvy and reformist, in this list i include a dream team of James Orengo, PLO Lumumba, Paul Muite, Gitobu Imanyara, Maina Kiai, Njoki Ndungu. Martha Karua and Kiraitu Murungi have shown utter contempt for the very reforms they championed only a few years back after walking in the corridors of power and can no longer be trusted and they are a BIG let down. LSK is already showing serious movement to force legislation and we all need to find a method to give teeth to some of these intitiatives.

As for the anon 9:03 RAO is the best leader this country could ever get and that RAO for opposition mentality is a little off the mark, but you are entitled to your opinion and i cannot begrudge you that. I will compile a summary/list of all the excellent suggestions above to give chris and hopefully find some way to move this further to the next step.

keep the excellent ideas flowing guys. (good stuff luke, BPOne, mzee wa kijiji, chicity, mwarangethe, and some anons)

incidentally i still maintain that people who have been mentioned adversely in grand scams, must clear their names through a legal process and go through a cooling period (say 5 years) before they can be allowed to hold any public office (public sector or parliament). its absurd that for example, and please note the following are purely fiction

if the architect of a scam e.g gold-bhang is found to be one mr. Pole Pat Knee, in collusion with Sir. E. Tow Tee, or a kao boy road contractor say mr. e-free-m minor owner of say Key Ree Nyaga rodeo shows, or even one Mr Saa e-ras G wrong-o of numerous NSSF scams, and so many other fictitous characters. How can these fellows still worm their way into parliament? ECK (a newly constituted one without the faces of KVU2, Key Hara MU2, etc) should have clauses barring such people from being listed until cleared.

Did u hear that one Mr. Woo Hoo Roo Can E Atta, had the gall to delist one Ms A. Star Per Sah Rees ostensibly because there was a case pending, eti conflict of interest, but in the meantime was eating rushwa per nominated councillor, sheesh.



Anonymous said...

Never never again hold a weapon against thy neighbour bacause of political reason
All politician are Valtures in valtures suit it is only the electorate who can not notice that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...