MR PRESIDENT, YOU GOT POWER - USE IT
Corruption is hydra-headed. Every time we cut off one head, two more emerge
After 53 years of Independence, we have only had four Presidents. A not-so-scientific but interesting attempt at listing the “most intelligent Presidents in the US history” enumerates notable actions and decisions of some 27 of them who may have changed or stayed the nation’s course to becoming a superpower. It does not include the 44th, Barack Obama.
Personality, decisiveness and various acts of valour, selfsacrifice and denouncing friends for the greater public good are some of the manifest credentials.
Last month, we celebrated Mashujaa Day though we seem to not really know who qualifies to be a shujaa. Villains in certain areas were recognised and instead others somehow believed to be the heroes were celebrated.
Heroes are not saints. Former South African President, the late Nelson Mandela, admitted as much, confessing to having harboured some personal frailties and regrets. He may have wisely chosen to rule for only one term instead of servicing a second term, which could have exposed those weaknesses and diminish his stature.
Equally among the US Presidents, there are some who are rated highly, unlike others. Of some it has been quipped that if one “is intelligent and corrupt, (they) will be intelligently corrupt”— able to connive through their reign as the masses cheer them on. This may be what ails our country. Corruption is not even intelligent, but politicians have discovered the one trump card that they can always play against the masses — tribalism!
President Uhuru Kenyatta can preside over a dastardly corrupt government, but the Kikuyu community in particular and others who support him and Deputy President Uhuru Kenyatta have no choice but to suck up to their ineptness. That’s why he has the nerve to say “there is nothing more [he] can do about corruption because he has done his part”. When his cohorts are mentioned in corrupt deals, their cabals join hands to defend them. Their corrupt ways have infected the county governments and public institutions across the country.
Even the opposition that wishes to form the government is a motley collection of ‘jilted lovers’ with their own records of wheeler-dealing. They are only salivating over the deals they had access to during their stints in government.
Today people are dying. If road carnage, under-equipped health facilities and crime — to mention a few problems — are anything to go by, then corruption is murder. Corruption is hydra-headed. Every time we think we lopped off one head, two more emerge. It appears immortal. That Hercules found a way to permanently slay the dragon means we too can slay our own corruption dragon. But it calls for a Hercules willing to shoulder the burden because President Uhuru will not — he has admitted as much.
The attributes voters should seek in their chief executive are honesty, consistency, good morals and sound judgement. In our case, the jury is still out as to whether the voter got any of these. Politicians more than dabble in the darker political arts — deception, flip-flopping, fakery and hypocrisy, but voters are not supposed to see these. But these are what we get, together with acting out of personal ambition rather than the public good. The President is powerful. Those men have ruled the US — a woman is almost getting there — made America great by making major personal and political sacrifices, and by being decisive when the odds were against them.
Mr President, you got the power, exercise it! Disappoint a friend, appear belligerent, be bold: Be the President. Etch your name on the list of heroes — or in the annals of our presidential history you will be an ignominious villain.