The man having a word with George Saitoti (Peter Kenneth) wants to be your president.
One of the things I like best about the American system is how quickly pretenders to the presidency get eliminated out of the race. Alas, back home in Kenya they remain in the ballot to the very last minute some struggling to get a mere 100 votes countrywide. The good thing about the proposed new constitution for Kenya is that it means that a run off is inevitable between the top two candidates so as to enable them garner the 50% plus one majority required for one to be declared president.
Still having said that, there are some rather fascinating developments in the 2012 race for the presidency. Clearly what we are going to see is a struggle between the old and the new order of things. The old will be represented by the usual suspects, Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Karua, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto (if they escape Hague) etc. The new will have the kind of names that may cause you to laugh today. Eugene Wamalwa, Peter Kenneth, Mwalimu Mati etc. Yep, you may laugh now, but as the polls near one thing I am sure of is that tables will be turned and people will be laughing at the old order and wondering what the hell they will be doing using the same old tricks and tactics to try and land in State House when they should be trading good-old-evil-days stories with Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki at some goat eating party deep in the rural areas. Kenyans are clearly screaming for a brand new beginning. In fact I dare predict that the number of votes the old folks will get this time round will shock people in terms of how few they will be.
It may not be evident now but closer to the presidential elections you may want to ask yourself what people like Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga are doing running for the presidency when a brand new dawn and beginning is beckoning for the nation. I am still waiting to see the servant leadership that Kalonzo was talking about during his campaigns for the presidency in 2007. Surely he should have shown us something as VP that would convince us that he was serious. Raila Odinga is no better because every day he sounds more and more like Moi and behaves very much like the dictatorial and firm ruler who straddled the Kenyan political landscape for 24 long years. Interestingly I now see the Raila camp falling for the very same opinion polls that cheated Kalonzo Musyoka that he was popular enough to make a decent stab at the presidency in 2007. My sincere apologies to Raila and Kalonzo worshipers but let us wait and see, shall we?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t see any presidential potential in the likes of Eugene Wamalwa and Peter Kenneth. But what I like about what they are doing is that it will provoke the candidature other new entrants into politics with true leadership potential.
A Kumekucha classic from the past: My encounter with Lucy Kibaki
P.S. One of the ways of checking the powers of the presidency that the COE and parliament may want to look at is to reduce the presidential term from 5 years to 4 years. Four years is long enough to bring positive changes but not nearly long enough to establish an effective self-serving power base. There are many advantages to having a short time as the most powerful man in Kenya including the fact that you remain very focused on what you were elected to do. A president of a country with so many nagging problems like Kenya has no business sleeping for 8 hours let alone 16 hours like one Emilio regularly does. 4 years means that the guy has to stay awake longer to maximize on their short time in power and if they do a good job they can then get elected for another 4 short years.
P.S. 2 My weekend special resumes next weekend. I will announce the hot topic I plan to tackle in the course of the week.