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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why Kenyatta will win big in 2017

Uhuru Kenyatta has boldly demonstrated that he is chip off the old block. His administration is not about the bold and decisive reform that is necessary to transform our institutions and change the fundamental logic of governance. The levels of impunity, cronyism and abuse of office are unvaried compared to the past 3 administrations. We still play politics of ethnicity and patronage when it comes to leadership of vital public institutions. Public accountability is not desirable or honorable.

In a sense Mr. Kenyatta has been sucked up and held hostage by those he thinks are the only individuals he could trust to run government. He does not have the resolve and the courage to re-make this country and to build out of this discord of 42 ethnic groups, one united nation.

Mr. Kenyatta, in what is left of his first term, will focus solely on his re-election and how to game ethnic calculus to get this done. Like 2013, winning the election is Kenyatta's least of worries. He will with an even larger margin. He will win easily because Raila Odinga just does not get it. Raila is in my view a capable revolutionary. He can rally the masses behind a common cause, as defined by circumstances and not by himself.

Uhuru will win in 2017 not because he is a cleaver politician or because of remarkable development record. He will not win because Kenyans will be better off in 2017. He will win in spite of all the things we don't like about his government; rampant corruption, ineptitude; an epileptic economy that does not deliver for the majority and of course insecurity.

One would think that all these problems, many of which Kenyatta inherited from Mzee Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki, could give the opposition a Hail Mary pass. The current crop of opposition is the reason Kenyatta will win big in 2017. This speaks to the larger, inter-generational problem: a dearth of leadership and a strong sense of public service among a majority of Kenyans.

In my view the problem is us. We have made the leaders we want. We want them mediocre, incompetent, lazy, corrupt, myopic and ethnic.

We want them to be just like us. So before you attack Kenyatta look at the person in the mirror. And I will also give Raila a break. We get the opposition that looks like us; adrift, mediocre, incompetent, lazy, corrupt, myopic and ethnic.

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