Politicians not Leaders


The day was Tuesday 28th November 2017 when the 4th president of the republic of Kenya was sworn in to serve his second term after an election rerun which upon winning, his opponent never conceded. On Tuesday January 30th 2018, exactly 63 days after the inauguration of the president, his opponent was illegally sworn in with a controversial non constitutional title namely ‘the people’s president.’ This is how we ended up as the only nation in the world to have two serving heads of state.
While one president is serving his term of five years as per the constitution, unless am a visitor in Jerusalem, we are yet to receive a memo of how long ‘the people’s president’ will serve. Nonetheless, a memo of a life time presidency won’t take Kenyans by surprise.
In May last year, i wrote a blog whose title was; THE PRESIDENT. My objective was to elucidate the centuries old ambiguity between two words which are commonly used interchangeably. These words are; A Leader and A Politician. According to my school of conscious thoughts, being a politician doesn’t make you a leader just like being a leader doesn’t make you a politician.
To help you digest this narrative in a more simplistic way, all you need to know is that; While politics is a career, leadership is a calling, and while politics is exercised through knowledge, (integrity) leadership is exercised through wisdom. In that regard, leadership can beget politics but unless its divine, politics can never beget leadership. In other words, leadership is independent and can thrive without politics but politics is dependent upon leadership for it to flourish.
The two detriments that we have continued to experience in our motherland for decades are surplus politicians but paucity of leaders and a presumption that deem all politicians as leaders.
In support of my school of conscious thought that politics is a career, inorder to vie for a particular position of power, you are required to have attained a certain academic level. Needless to say, this requirement only proofs your integrity but doesn’t exemplify your wisdom whatsoever. This perception however ignores an extremely imperative aspect that; wisdom is the greatest virtue of leadership.
I am not saying that education is irrelevant in matters leadership, the point I want to drive home is; there is always a dire need of  interdependence between academic achievement (integrity) and wisdom/ intelligence (either inherent or acquired) for great leadership to be realized. The assumption that politicians are leaders is a mistake that have continued to render us to decades of recurrent outcry about failed leadership without any hope in the foreseeable future. Our frustrations out of poor leadership have continued to exacerbate because we vote in politicians in the name of leaders.
Just like virtues are contagious, vices are contagious too. Like his seniors, the man incharge of the health docket in my motherland seems not to have a smidgen idea of the decades old plight of our beloved medics and that’s why he have the audacity of threatening to fire them if they fail to resume to work. Any leader who fails to keenly adhere to the needs of the people under his or her watch but rushes to issue a threat doesn’t qualify for any leadership position to begin with. Unfortunately, he is just an ‘innocent’ messenger, thus,  why kill the messenger?
Four months after his release from 27 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela made his first ever visit to the United States of America. On 21st June 1990, he was hosted by Ted Koppel for a Nightline ABC NEWS interview in New York city college. These were the words of Nelson Mandela on the importance of consistency in leadership. “Anybody who changes his principles depending on whom he is dealing with, that’s not a man who can lead a nation.” These words of wisdom can never get more veracious than they were three decades ago when he voiced them out. My intention to quote these three decades old words from tata Madiba is to ascertain the truth in them and subsequently expose the volatility of this phrase; “Hata slice moja wakati huu hatapata.” which translates; he won’t get even a single slice this time around. The man who was once perceived as a miscreant and wasn’t entitled for a single slice is now the one in-charge of the whole loaf and also the determinant of who gets what. This begs the question, was the single slice analogy a sincere utterance or it was just a rhetoric? The passing of time have not only helped in answering this question, it has also taught us a lesson that; A promise (s) from a politician is just a rhetoric which can never stand the test of time. With the forthcoming general elections within the vicinity, you have the ability to obliterate the vicious cycle of politicians who have continued to impoverish Kenyans in the name of leaders. As a patriotic citizen, you have a civic duty to vote out politicians and a noble responsibility to vote in leaders who you deem capable of walking their talk through servant leadership. This act of patriotism and compassion will not only improve the lives and livelihoods of the citizens, it will also ascertain the truth behind the saying; ‘There is no greater recompense for a leader than to produce people who surpass his or her leadership.’ 

Posted by Moral Compass by Nelson Mwangi at 6:30 PM

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