THE LEADERSHIP CURSE PERSISTS.
By Mohamedsalah Chiracha.
Call me a mutt. If our leaders look beyond their bellies, we are in more trouble than ever before, even though we have sent hundreds of leaders to national assemblies in the past in the hopes of bringing about change.
God gave us the gift of leadership, which includes traits like respect, empathy, influence, and gratitude, to name a few. Leadership is about necessitating, putting your ego aside, and operating with a high degree of humility. Accepting responsibility for mistakes and establishing a strategy to overcome hurdles A leader must have the bravery and ability to take measured risks. A leader must be perceived as someone who is not scared to accept danger in order to inspire others to greatness. Show me a single leader in our region who possesses the aforementioned characteristics.
Our leaders are ruthless and bloodthirsty, they are motivated by tribalism, nepotism, a lack of future vision, and avarice, which makes them tyrants and sadists who encourage intercommunal conflict for their gain. They are driven by an insatiable desire for power and wealth, which they use to line their own pockets, and not to serve the masses. They have no respect for democracy and rule of law, which they see as a hindrance to their quest for power, and not as a foundation to build a better society. They have no empathy for the people they are supposed to lead, whom they see as pawns in their game of thrones, instead of people who aspire to a better life. Even religion cannot help them since they tend to forget their faith immediately after taking an oath of office, they become deaf, dumb, and blind, humanity is plucked from their breast, and hatred is born.
Prove me wrong if am lying, after ten years of self-government, we still have nothing to be proud of. We still encounter the same problems as our forefathers, even though almost all ministries are devolved. We may smile and act normally, but our hearts are bleeding because our leaders take pleasure in our suffering, they take pleasure in conflict. In other words, the very people who should be making us happy are the ones sucking it away.
Taking into account, our counties face similar problems, such as poverty, illiteracy, and drought, which could be resolved if public resources were used wisely, however, only a small number of people are working around the clock to prevent this from happening, which is causing us to repeat our past. Those few people are against the advancement of our people.
Do we, as a voting public, deserve blame? Maybe we should behave consistently, act without conscience or remorse, and vote the same way every five years, only to look back on our actions and regret them for the following years. Every time we have an election, we do the tragic mistake of voting for the same despots, forgetting our issues, grinning, beating tribal drums, and listening to tribal music while thinking that my neighbor is my enemy because he is not a member of my tribe. We put a lot of faith in politicians during election season, and when they speak, we go completely insane. For generations, we typically serve as their pets. Tribal and ethnic fashion is popular in food, clothing, and education.
Please allow me to draw your attention to electoral pledges made by a political class who act like mini-gods, only caring about our problems when they are in need. Politicians are the most blatant liars I’ve ever encountered; the devil would adore their certainty. Our politicians have made lying their pillar, and most despots use lies to maintain power as much as possible. Any rational person knows they will fail, but we still celebrate them because they are one of us.
Speaking of political lies, while I was in my hamlet of Elwak during the early hours of the night and the area was completely dark from a power outage, a famous member running for an elective position made utopian promises to a sizable crowd. While hundreds of people continue to go without food, and eating just once a day has become uncommon, he promised manna. He made empty promises to give away his monthly wages and sponsor hundreds of disadvantaged youth to higher education institutions once being reelected.
The audience in Mandera East cheers joyously as they fantasize about desire and bliss after another person made a vow without batting an eye to organize more than 50 weddings every year. On the other side, a senior member running for governor boasted gleefully that he will increase food and agricultural production through fertilizer subsidies, despite the county relying on water tracking and having no records of farmers or understanding of the use of fertilizer.
A candidate for the position of member of parliament in a neighboring county of Wajir promised to build an airstrip so that whenever they wanted to meet him, he would send a chopper to airlift them to Nairobi. However, before the crowd could process that lie, he dropped another bombshell: he would airlift six elderly locals every year to the hajj pilgrimage in the Islamic holiest city, Mecca.
Those are just a few of the millions of promises made, and if I were to write them all down, it would take me decades, yet all those falsehoods seem lovely and sincere, and because of how convincing the lies are, there are still plenty of gullible individuals who think that politicians can change the lives of the local populace. By cheering we encourage them, not realizing that we are their employers.
Do they consider us to be their bosses? I doubt we are more like them, only thinking about what to eat, because we trade our freedom of speech and thought for a few handouts, we observed a small group of bribe-seeking youth who bully like-minded individuals on social media to appease their bosses, with no regard for the common good or long-term solutions to county problems. If we adopt this way of thinking and disregard our moral education, we will suffer forever.
Sometimes education is overrated. For example, when allowed to represent communities, a Ph.D. or master’s degree holder will forgo all of his education and have the same IQ as a village herder who has never attended class. They are both tribal and bloodthirsty, cheering tribal meetings to exacerbate problems facing the populace more than ever before. Is it our educational methods that are to fault, or is it ingrained in our hearts to divide communities based on tribal lines and religion?
I recall a time when politicians with poor literacy skills were in charge of ruining our counties. People who are better trained and equipped to do the job now hold it. Despite having more education and experience than their predecessors, they work for their gain and push counties back. Their primary activity is looting. And observe how proficiently they perform. Therefore, even on that point, my conscience is at ease.
Although self-rule is a blessing, it is a curse for us, and if we remain silent, our suffering will worsen. It’s time to hold everyone accountable and it is time to trace every penny that has been taken from public coffers. I’m not bitter, but it seems like the new administration will be even worse. Our leaders are limping, and a flock whose leaders limp will never reach for greener pastures, as more depots are being born, nepotism will continue, and injustices will rule under different names.
They want to keep us in the dark, and they want to keep our people poor. They want one thing, and that is power. They want to keep you powerless and dependent on them. They want you to be so dependent on them that you do not dare to raise your voice against their wrongdoings.