By Franco Ndungu
In 2002, Kibaki took over power from Moi when Kenya was in tatters and seriously dilapidated socially, economically, and politically. Moi had ethnically divided Kenyans, looted the economy, and collapsed the System. Moi was literally the Law. It was sad that Kibaki was the President of a Country with no functional constitution in the interest of the Public, no economically viable infrastructure, no Parliamentary Service Commission to serve the members of Parliament and their staff, if any, there was no professional police force, no freedom of speech and media. The Country was an empty shell under a dictatorial regime.
Unlike Moi, President Kibaki had a blueprint for the nation. A plan he was determined to implement to the core. Kibaki had the prerogative to govern Kenyan under the same constitution that gave Moi absolute power, but he didn’t. On the other hand, instead of punishing Moi, holding grudges and personal vendettas, lamenting, complaining, and playing blame, Kibaki embarked on his Country’s social and economic transformation.
The Kibaki regime was key to national healing, cohesion, progress, and development. He initiated economic stimulus projects, the introduction of the Constituency Development Fund, Free Primary Education, Parliamentary Service Commission, the construction of major roads, zero-rated imports on Motorcycles that employed millions of young people, fight against kleptocracy and mother of promulgation of the first People’s Constitution in 2010. The 2010 Constitution further enshrined the social and political rights under the bill of rights in Chapter four, freedom of media, public participation, and the establishment of constitutional offices and commissions. Kenya became a democratic country officially.
Uhuru Kenyatta took over from where Kibaki had left and focused on the economy’s growth guided by the constitution and Agenda Four. The Country performed well in the first term of Uhuruto’s leadership. However, in the second term of the Uhuru regime, the deputy president’s defiance got into the center stage after the popular handshake between the President and the then-leader of the opposition. Individual interests rose above the national interest, the economy started to lag behind, and the cost of living began to skyrocket.
The Conduct of President Ruto and his regime paints a contrast to that of President Kibaki in so many conspicuous ways. In 2002, Kibaki took over from Moi, a banana republic with a collapsed economy. He encountered a demoralized public service, an unprofessional and brutal police force, no parliamentary service commission, no economic infrastructure, no freedom of media, and a dead constitution whereby the authoritarian president was above the Law. Kibaki had no time to blame Moi for looting, corruption, failed state, a rotten police force, demoralized public service, scandals, and extra-judicial killings.
Through a team of well-selected and appointed technocrats and moral politicians, Kibaki focused on economic recovery, alleviating poverty, fighting corruption, fighting ethnicity, socio-economic transformation, and cleaning the image of Kenya. The Kenyan economy was revamped and started growing at a double-digit rate. The cost of living was alleviated, and Kenyans of all walks of life regardless of tribe, started enjoying life in Kenya with its freshness.
If Ruto and his regime would take in the foot steps of President Kibaki, this Country would transform within the shortest time possible.Unlike Kibaki, Rutos regime is still hanging on the campaign moods in terms of language and conduct. His government is not a government of UDA followers, it belongs to all Kenyans and for all Kenyans. Rigathi Gachagua hardly knows what to say in public and when or how to say it. The deputy President utterances have been more divisive than uniting. Gachagua is a dangerous person when he is on the microphone.
Note that, the current regime is making a dangerous move when they ignore the opposition and the people. The leader of opposition is in resonance with the issues the general public is lamenting about. There is high cost living, with prices of power, unga and fuel skyrocketing. During the campaign, the President and his deputy made basic and fundamental promises they had not fulfilled.
President Ruto should be very keen on his handlers. In the book, The Prince by Machiavelli, a wise king should listen to the genuine and true counsel given by most trusted circles who are not YES men or mere sycophants. He shouldn’t surround himself with people who just tell him what he wants to hear. A wise great leader must accept the truth no matter how bitter it is.
Ruto is making very gross leadership, political and legal mistakes. It’s better to be punished by God rather than nature and People. God usually has Mercy but not the latter two. Rutos regime has put deaf ears on the issues raised by both the people and the opposition.
The incumbent regime has ignored the rule of Law by appointing 50 CAS that even Parliament declined to vet due to the illegalities involved. Ruto has taken a hardline stance by constantly attacking the opposition and holding grudges instead of uniting Kenyans. He has failed to learn from the 2017 demonstrations. Unlike the 2017 demonstrations, the recent protests are issue-based and emanating from the commoners. Its about all Kenyans.
Its about time the president understand that Kenyans are living at the age of digital democracy whereby perceptions,political opinions,judgement,planning and coordination of any agenda that affects the public is done via social media platforms which are faster,cheaper easier and convenience than mainstream media. If the president cuts of internet that’s enough to cause a revolution in Kenya.
The General Public the current regime is governing is smarter, well-informed, inter-connected, and under the digital democracy space. What is said, done, no matter when and where, matters to all Kenyans, to take note.