An election is a democratic process where people choose their leaders. It can be said to be the transfer of power from the people to a few selected individuals. These individuals are thought to have the interest of the people and country at heart. They will serve the needs of everyone: their supporters and the opposition. Normally there are more candidates eying for a limited number of seats. This means they have to compete among themselves, making an election a competition. However, it should not be a competition between leaders and their personalities but their agendas.
During the campaign period all eyes are on our leaders. They are the ones who are burning fuel in search of votes. We should not focus on their personalities but and agenda for the people. Tribal politics exists because we focus too much on the personalities of our leaders. Their names, where they come from and their party. The party a leader is associated with, greatly influence their chances at the ballot. Some leaders are elected just because they are from their region’s popular party. Others are elected based on how ‘generous’ they were during the campaign period. With the August poll around the corner, we should be asking ourselves what does Jubilee, NASA and other candidates represent? What is their style of leadership? What are their promises? Can they be trusted with the future of over 40 million people?
Take the example of Nairobi gubernatorial race. There was talks of importing a leader from the western region. The argument was that there was more Luhyas in Nairobi and that would guarantee victory. The needs and problems of Nairobians was not considered in that argument. All they wanted was victory. When tribal politics is in play personalities is the only agenda.
Some development projects stall while others die because of change in regime. They are starved of resources by the new regime. Egocentric leaders will instead focus on projects that bears their name. This is because even after winning they are still in competition mode. They argue that working on previous regime’s projects is giving advantage to their rivals. When that project turns out successful they will miss out on the important credit. That would be a political liability which would haunt them as they seek another term. These kind of leaders want projects that bears their names just to feed their big egos. Their needs comes before the needs of the people.
Another effect of leaders competing based on personalities, is low level of cooperation between them. It can be noted that there are more battles than cooperation between among leaders. They usually fight for their own interests. It is strange to see people who are supposed to be serving the same purpose fight each other. Their personal interests is usually at play. It is difficult for leaders from the government and opposition to work together unless it’s for their own good.
For vision 2030 to become a reality leaders have to do away with their personalities. They have to start selling their agenda to the people. Since we can only buy what is available. That way our country will be able to move forward. Tribal politics is striving because our leaders are feeding it. A just leader keeps his country stable but a selfish one will destroy it.
photo credit: Der Wunderbare Mandarin <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40704276@N06/4544441524″>I hate macarons</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>