Who Should Lead Us, Politicians Or Professionals?
To actualize benefits of the new constitution, Kenyans must have good leaders. But what is a good leader?
To develop counties, we are told to forget politicians and get professionals, our newest version of good leaders.
But are politicians inherently bad and professionals good? In themselves, politics and professions are innocent, only men corrupt them.
However, by professional, we mean lawyers, judges, bankers, architects, economists, educationists, engineers and doctors etc., but not politicians whom we erroneously deny professionalism and blame for every problem.
But do professionals always build and politicians destroy?
When one-party dictatorship was killing this country, professionals were eloquently silent pursuing higher education, wealth and personal peace.
Equally, when detainees and political prisoners suffered persecution in courts and prisons, many lawyers, judges and doctors were happy to collaborate.
Dilapidation of our roads today is a testimony of the grand corruption of our road engineers.
And is not the corruption of land surveyors and registrars, and money-driven doctors that is behind the almost insolvable millions of land cases and collapse of our hospitals?
Then there are all the honey pots of corruption like Goldenberg, Anglo-Leasing and Kisumu Molasses Factory where professionals and politicians equally dipped their dirty fingers.
Today, our educationists bask in the shame of turning our schools and universities into dens of corruption and negative ethnicity!
Did the World Bank not demand Richard Leakey’s Dream Team of highly paid professionals as our savior, only for them to fail?
Although many corrupt CEOs have successful companies, it was the bankers’ and other CEOs’ unchecked greed, grand corruption and lack of integrity that nearly collapsed western economies. Indeed, many CEOs steal from their companies until they are bankrupt or they are themselves caught.
So, when a country is in trouble, where does it get saviors? Does it merely look for a politician, a professional, a woman, a rich man or a youth to save her?
Or will it not look at her problem, diagnose it and look for the best person or persons to solve it depending on what human qualities the solution calls for?
Leaders are defined not by age, gender or profession but by problems of their time, ideologies and politics. No professional can govern without politics and nobody is born a good leader for all times and all problems.
When a country is oppressed by dictatorship, it looks for democratic revolutionaries like Fidel Castro or Yoweri Museveni.
When a country is under colonialism, it looks for sacrificing nationalists like Patrice Lumumba or Jomo Kenyatta.
When a country is at war with a foreign power, it looks for leaders of great courage like Winston Churchill or Dedan Kimathi.
When despair has eaten into the soul of a country, it looks for a person of great hope like Barack Obama.
When a country’s social fabric and economy are ruined by corruption, it looks for a man of incorruptible integrity and unshakeable courage like Bildad Kaggia or Thomas Sankara.
When people are crushed by the immorality of racism, negative ethnicity, slavery or apartheid, they look for a moralist like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela.
What leadership does Kenya and her counties then need?
So far, seemingly innocent but very guilty money and negative ethnicity have given us Mafioso “leaders” who now seek self-perpetuation through seemingly innocuous but hungry, scheming, self-serving Johnny-come-lately professionals, pseudo-reformers and human rights careerists.
Whatever we say about our civilization, our defining problem is our jungle society of meat eaters who live on grass eaters. Everyday, poor people are devoured by hyenas of corruption, pythons of poverty, jackals of exploitation, dragons of negative ethnicity and lions of hunger.
Whoever then leads Kenya and her counties must not be a hyena, lion, python, jackal or dragon. Whether professional or politician, a person for governor or president must have courageous integrity to fight corruption, great appeal to attract industrial investments to develop and end unemployment, a good mind to acquire new knowledge and generate ideas and inspiring nationalism to end carnivore- ism, fight negative ethnicity and unite people. And woe unto any county that will sell leadership for ethnicity or the dirty money of drugs, pirates or corruption, for fail, it shall.
Koigi wa Wamwere is chair of Chama Cha Mwananchi.