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Daily Nation,by Magesha Ngwiri|12 September 2020

Has Kenya Found Polical Messiah?


IN SUMMARY
In a sense, Governor Mutua is not your ordinary, run-of-the mill politician, having had an illustrious career as a journalist, educator and ace public relations spinmeister before he turned to politics.

Poverty levels have inexorably risen with every passing decade though Kenyans are consistently assured the economy is on a healthy growth trajectory.

Last Sunday, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua launched his 2022 presidential bid in a ceremony bereft of much of the razzmatazz that usually characterises such functions.

Indeed, most Kenyans came to know of the ceremony on social media soon after it happened, and then much later, heard about it on radio and TV.

In any case, it was no secret; he long ago indicated his intentions, and Sunday???s was just a formality. The one thing that Kenyans were not sure about was what, exactly, he stood for and why he thought he was the right man for the presidency at this point.

In a sense, Governor Mutua is not your ordinary, run-of-the mill politician, having had an illustrious career as a journalist, educator and ace public relations spinmeister before he turned to politics.

His has been a career progression that should serve as an inspiration to many youths once they realise that Kenya is a land of immense possibilities and they can make anything of their lives so long as the conditions are right.

Right now, the conditions are hardly right as the country seems to be lurching from one crisis to another without any resolution in sight.

The most vulnerable victims of this dysfunction are youth ??? those aged between 18 and 35 years ??? who make 25 per cent of the population, while 43 per cent are below 15 years and will soon be expected to clamour loudly for their slice of the pie. This, essentially, means that a full 68 per cent of Kenya???s population is increasingly being robbed of a future, and they badly require a leadership with messianic vision to get them out of the rut.

Unemployment
Unemployment is at a record high, mainly affecting this huge age bracket. Poverty levels have inexorably risen with every passing decade though Kenyans are consistently assured the economy is on a healthy growth trajectory.

Violent crime and insecurity may not be at an all-time high at the momen ??? we have seen worse ??? but it lurks somewhere below the surface, and may erupt at any time.

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The warlike cries and low-blow insults at the President and his family by a couple of idiots from the Rift Valley are a case in point. There is no question our politics is broken and requires urgent repair.

To add to this litany of woes is a negative ethnicity that manifests itself in various ways, chief among them being unfair employment practices influenced by considerations other than merit, bringing with it a great deal of resentment among millions who feel excluded. This happens when certain communities with poor leadership subscribe to an overweening sense of entitlement to State resources which they eventually get to keep by rigging the system.

However, by far the country???s greatest problem is corruption that has been spiralling out of control for decades now.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what else to say about this national disaster because everything has been said. When Kenyans hear about all the billions of shillings stolen every year, they howl with outrage for a time, but soon after lapse into silence. Two weeks ago, everyone was livid that at a time when Covid-19 was wreaking havoc, a few greedy people looted money meant to shield people from its ravages.

Many Kenyans are aware of exactly what is wrong with their country. Their leaders, too, know exactly what keeps driving their country backward. And yet, on the podium, they will not say what they would do different given a chance to rectify those ills.

Myriads of problems
Even when they do, they fail to explain exactly how they intend to solve the myriads of problems assailing us. However, some do occasionally give it a try as did Dr Mutua last Sunday.

Though his address was really a short statement of intent and not a manifesto, he identified a few of the problems, chief among them being what to do with a huge, frustrated youth demographic with no means of making a decent living.

To address the bleak situation, he pledged to create five million jobs in three years, a really ambitious idea that would require some sort of magic to accomplish.

His pledge to improve the road network in every county is also admirable for the move will certainly boost agriculture and trade. However, it is doubtful whether the country can afford any more debt-driven infrastructure projects.

Perhaps the governor, who is calling for a fresh start to secure Kenya???s future, knows something that we don???t about running things. From all accounts, he has governed Machakos County reasonably well and, as he says, knows how the system works.

If he keeps his pledge not to be swallowed by the same system, he might turn out to be the one this country needs. In the meantime, the man from Masii has a right to dream, and to paraphrase the gem of wisdom from the lips of our illustrious daughter Lupita when she won the Oscar in 2014, all dreams are valid regardless of where you come from.

andrewngwiri@gmail.com

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Has Kenya Found Polical Messiah?

Daily Nation, By Magesha Ngwiri,
IN SUMMARY In a sense, Governor Mutua is not your ordinary, run-of-the mill politician, having had an illustrious career as a journalist, educator

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