Mr President, handshake is no legacy, spare us anger and deliver

The president seems more obsessed with the handshake and stopping his deputy from succeeding him than fulfilling his campaign promises.

Once upon a time, President Uhuru Kenyatta sold us a fanciful idea called the ‘Big Four’ action plan. As development plans go, it was pretty ambitious and very welcome.

The plan envisioned increasing the contribution of manufacturing to the economy from 9.2 per cent to 20 per cent, achieving 100 per cent food security, achieving 100 per cent universal health coverage, and building 500,000 new and affordable homes all by 2022.

If the president achieves even a quarter of these targets, his would go down as one of our most effective administrations ever. But we all know he won’t come anywhere near achieving any of that. And he knows it too.

Unfortunately, he seems more obsessed with the handshake and stopping his deputy from succeeding him than fulfilling his campaign promises.

As 2022 draws nearer and the President realises his legacy will be one of corruption and ineptitude rather than efficiency and effectiveness, he has descended into an angry, embittered commentator on political events.

His time is almost up with little to show for it. No legacy. Kenyans should expect him all over, blaming everyone but himself.

Every weekend, Kenyans are treated to a blow-by-blow account of the President’s latest angry tirade in some part of the country.

He rails against everything: diplomats, corrupt civil servants, the opposition, women, men, clergy, name them. Too much barking and no biting!

READ ALSO: Why Huduma Namba is a big scandal waiting to happen

Nothing escapes the President’s wrath these days. Most recently, he has taken to sniping against his own deputy.

All this is pointless. The raging greed that creates runaway corruption is like a roaring inferno, and the President’s fury is misdirected.

Unless you missed the memo Mr President, politicians in Kenya are elected to do politics.

In our country, doing politics involves running all over the place eating roast maize and badly cooked chapati, dancing with excited old ladies, posing with security guards in fancy uniforms and donating millions at church fundraisers.

Oh, yes. Politicians never rest easy. They always want something that involves running around, hurling insults at to real or imagined opponents.

When they run out of platforms such as funerals, they manufacture a problem, like a referendum; just to keep themselves busy.

Mr President, your anger should be directed at your inefficient Cabinet. Still, why the double standards?

Your own guys in Team Kieleweke and Team Handshake move around politicking as much as their Team Tangatanga counterparts.

The president himself has been politicking – his last such public function was barely a fortnight ago, when he joined members of Akorino at a religious function.

He needs to get used to life as a ‘lame-duck president’. It is coming. His second term is ebbing away. You cannot achieve much more than just keep the lights on and bide your time.

The lessons of African post-presidencies are overwhelmingly negative: with the exception of the venerable Mwai Kibaki.

Even when they handed over power in seemingly happy circumstances, the loss of power, the trimmed-down status, the forcibly shrunken ego – which dwindles in direct proportion to the size of their motorcades – all these social downgrades take a lot of getting used to.

 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next