This is a question asked by one of the media houses yesterday on twitter.
My first answer was nothing. Trying to improve the morality of the present crop of Kenyan leaders would be akin to propping up a mature tree. Impossible. Maybe there are a few men and women of integrity in the different positions of leadership, but against a mob of inefficient, corrupt, sleazy, lazy and tribal colleagues, they are out gunned, out witted and out voiced, they can never be heard.
Is it all bleak?
The first solution in my view is to revolt. A system wide revolt with one single goal, to remove the current crop of leadership. The bigger problem with this is its success is never sure. Look at the example of Egypt or Libya though in each of this cases there could be other matters at play. Tunis is an example where the revolution seems to have led to some positive change. So I make this proposal but have a lot of misgivings for lives would be lost in a violent revolution and to what end?
Education. What type of education? An education that teaches people how to think and not what to think. The majority those who claim to have some education in this country, I am afraid, are not. They were trained to be machines. Their training is about how to follow orders, make yourself employable and nothing more. Their education did not train them to think and this has unfortunately led the dearth of thinkers and great statesmen and women.
Distribution of resources. The history of this country is one of systematic gross inequalities. The élite/ ruling classes have used their positions always to marginalize those not in power. No regime has ever focused on building a nation. It is tribe or communities against others. How would a person unable to put food on the table think about integrity when choosing their leaders? Anyone who promises to give them money, any amount, regardless of how corrupt or inefficient will get their vote. Improve the lives of every citizen, and they are sure to make proper choices, though not always, of who should lead them.
Institutions. If it were possible to purge all institutions of the corrupt and lazy officers, this would work. The police force wins almost yearly as the most corrupt arm of government. This is the arm charged with implementation of laws, how would you expect them to perform? We get treated to a theatre of the absurd for the last almost four years of vetting in the judiciary. Judges and magistrates have been found wanting in integrity, how would we expect an already corrupt house to arbitrate on matters of integrity? There are scandals in house committees, committees that are to checking the government! You have cabinet secretaries who have difficulties obeying simple traffic rules, what would you expect of their performance in office? The presidential nominees to several bodies get rubber-stamped by parliament regardless of how poorly qualified the fellow is just to appease his tribe! What stupidity is this?
God. In the discussions we had, a few suggested that maybe god would solve the problem. I said an emphatic no. Not just because am godless, but because the politician sees himself as a god and only answerable to one. The politician must be made to know he is an employee of the people and only answerable to them, if he wants to answer to god, then he should become a member of the clergy.
And lastly I ventured to say that our media is part of the problem. They would want us to see them as holy Joe’s while they sleep with the politicians. They pretend to do exposes on political shenanigans only long enough to raise our anger and in the next moment they are again in bed with them doing their bidding. We get treated to several hours of idiotic speech from politicians in the name of fair play. If those who work in the media think they have something to offer, they should stay critical and above reproach or else stay quiet.