It was embarrassing to see a whole Commander in Chief and President of the Republic of Kenya stand in front of the country and ask “sasa mnataka nifanye nini jameeni?” on an issue as serious as the issue of corruption in this country. He is the one who has declared corruption a national disaster and a threat to national security. This is an issue as serious as an invasion of the country by foreign forces. And the President who should know the way, go the way and show the way is asking us “sasa mnataka nifanye nini jameeni?”.
In real war, such nonsense coming from a General in the face of an attack by the enemy is enough cause for mutiny. The second in command would calmly pull out his weapon, aim it at the General, relieve the General of his command and take over the army and provide leadership and direction to the troops. In a time of war, the last thing you want is an indecisive clueless General asking you “sasa mnataka nifanye nini jameeni?”.
People who have been in a situation that required leadership and the leaders could not provide it knows how frustrating it can be. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States had a plaque on his desk with the famous words “The Buck Stops here”.
He understood that as a President he had the sole and inescapable responsibility to provide direction on any and all matters that ever found their way to his desk, however complicated or impossible they seemed. We should not be lecturing Uhuru Kenyatta on his responsibilities as President, but sadly we are doing so. The corruption cartels were watching , laughing and high-fiving each other, the General had capitulated, they have won the war. For him, the buck stops elsewhere, and he does not know where.
A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. A leader must be able to take you to a place where you cannot go by yourself. Moses was a leader. It is inconceivable that the Israelites would have attempted the great escape from Egypt without him. When the Israelites came to Moses in the Desert of Zin, and told him that there was no water for them and their animals and that they would all die of thirst, I can see #crybabypresident ask them “sasa mnataka nifanye ninin jameeni?”. But Moses had an answer, like all leaders should do. He knew the way, he went the way and he showed the way. Otherwise he had no business being a leader.
And Uhuru has no business being a leader if he cannot give us a solution to the greatest crisis of our age. He very casually claims that the constitution ties his hands. No one and no law should tie the hands of the leader on a matter as grave as the one facing our country. When he felt that the law was tying his hands in relation to security, he forcefully changed the law. If he feels that the law is tying his hands in relation to fighting corruption, he should have proposed the changes that he needs done to be able to do what he must. In fact, when he was running for president, he ought to have had a plan on how to fight corruption, ought to have evaluated his plan against the existing law and known what laws he needed amended or enacted a fresh to allow him to fight corruption. That he hadn’t done that and that he still has not means that he has not actually done everything he ought to have done and to do in order to effectively fight corruption, like he claims he has.
I am not a fan of football. But one practice in football above all else is informative on the role of leadership. When a team in the world cup looses, you will often receive the news of the loss together with the news that the coach had been fired. The coach does not and cannot play. Why would he be fired?
He is the leader. Leaders have solutions. They are expected to . They are expected to lead people to the successful achievement of their objectives. This is why people follow leaders. Uhuru expects Kenyans to follow him. And yet he is wearing a T-shirt with the inscriptions at the back that read “No. 1. #crybabypresident. Don’t follow me, am also lost”.
We as Kenyans need to ask ourselves, when it comes to fighting corruption in Kenya, does Uhuru Kenyatta know the way, can Uhuru Kenyatta go the way and can Uhuru Kenyatta show the way?
The answer to the three questions is No, No and No.
Does Uhuru know the way? No.
I have continuously made the argument that before Moi came knocking on his mama’s door, Uhuru had never dreamt of being President. He is free to accept or deny this claim. He however happened to be the perfect marionette for the scheming Daniel Arap Moi who, upon seeing that his exit was imminent, wanted to replace himself with a clueless puppet who not only had enough vested interests in the system to want to protect the status quo for both himself and Moi, but one who was harmless and clueless enough not to upstage his godfather once he got into power.
Moi was politically astute and could not have made a mistake on this one. His whole legacy and his whole life after retirement depended on this one decision and he could not have got it wrong. The perfect candidate was Uhuru Kenyatta. He ticked all the boxes. First, he and his family were invested enough in the system to want to protect the status quo. Secondly, he had no known or demonstrable personal achievements, proving that he had no special intellectual abilities or personal gifting’s and therefore he was clueless and ambition-less enough to function effortlessly as Moi’s marionette.
It did not work out exactly as Moi had planned but his analysis of the person of Uhuru Kenyatta was right. And therefore anyone who is surprised at the #crybabypresident should not waste their energies. He is who Moi wanted him to be. Clueless, powerless, ambition-less and only good as someones marionette. With Moi gone, his marionette project has been captured by the economic and political functionaries, the corrupt cartels and he is being puppeteered just like Moi imagined. He was not called a Professor of Politics for nothing.
Can Uhuru go the way?
He does not know what to do. But, he has been told what to do? Can he do it?
I have read several commentaries that have told Uhuru what to do in three simple steps:
- Slay the dragon of corruption.
- Fall out with the political class and the cartels
- Turn to the people of Kenya for leverage.
He has been assured that the people will support him in the fight against corruption even if, especially if, it implodes his government. Put differently he is being told: fight corruption ruthlessly, your government will fall, but the people are so tired of corruption that they will heronize you for fighting it, so much so that they will catch you when your government falls.
Can he go the way?
Moi needed a puppet who would never go the way, especially this way, even if it was shown to him. Again he got the perfect candidate. Uhuru is so captive to his political allies’, his family’s and their associates’ interests in the status quo that he can never go this way.
Can he show the way?
Well the answer to this is obvious. The only enduring thing I have heard about Uhuru is that he is “a nice guy” and that he has “good intentions”. Well, it is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And under his leadership, we surely are on that road. He and his deputy traversed the country with bravado declaring themselves the digital generation. They were high on confidence and very low on substance. Kenyans confused good English, swag and confidence with substance. A great Guru has advised:
Do not confuse confidence for clarity. Do not think that confidence can be a substitute for clarity. That’s the biggest disaster. The greatest tragedy in the planet is that people who have no clarity have confidence. In the age of social media people want to express themselves without regard to whether they know or not. It is the age of expression without perception. People become what they are because of what they have expressed not because of what they have perceived.
Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev.
And there you have it. This is the age of expression without perception. A clueless Prince with confidence and no clarity. A #crybabypresident who is the greatest tragedy for a country looking out for leadership. A true leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. In 2013 we elected a 2002-failed–Moi project imagined by Moi to be his marionette and never a leader. He does not know the way, cannot go the way and will not show the way. Confronted by corruption, the greatest national disaster this country has ever faced since colonialism, all the #crybabypresident can do is ask, “sasa mnataka nifanye nini jameeni? ”.