Uhuru Parliament purge meant to protect his legacy
Friday, June 5th, 2020
Hesbon Hansen Owilla
The political landscape in the country has reached fever pitch, more than two years before the next General Election.
Much of the political activity is happening in Parliament, where a purge targeting “rebel” jubilee MPs is taking place, days after a similar shake-up in Senate.
Granted, there is no doubt about the competence of the MPs targeted in the purge as some have fairly solid track records both in the political arena and in their previous jobs.
However, being in the ruling party, competence and track record are often pegged on the delivery of the President’s agenda. Nothing else.
Now, if the appointing authority does not see that competence reflected in the delivery of his development agenda, he owes it to the people who elected him to act.
You see, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reign will not be remembered for who chaired what committee or led the majority or minority in Parliament.
It will be remembered for the difference it will make in the lives of Kenyans.
This simply means that unless he has the right people in key positions, both in Parliament and in Cabinet, he will be shooting in the dark, especially if the people he trusts with pushing his agenda have other interests.
Let it not be lost on us that there is only one person to whom Kenyans bestowed their aspirations.
I mean no Governor, Senator or even MP got anywhere close to the overwhelmingly endorsement the President got to work for Kenyans.
Therefore, when the President charts a pathway to address the current and historical issues affecting Kenyans, you would expect all well-meaning legislators, especially those affiliated to Jubilee Party who campaigned with him on the same platform, to help the Head of State and his government to deliver.
Achievement of the president’s main agenda —the Big Four, fight against corruption and uniting Kenyans —has a domino effect.
No corner of this country will fail to realise the benefits of universal healthcare and not even one constituency will remain untouched if we realise growth in manufacturing, for instance, which will consequently boost job creation and expand the tax base.
But be it as it may, you cannot celebrate or even speculate on some of these unfolding political happenings and as Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka once said “a tiger doesn’t proclaim his tigritude, he pounces”.
We need to see action and an accelerated realisation of the President’s agenda not just politics.
In fact, the onus is on Kenyans to focus on what the new political formations portend in addressing the plights of Kenyans which has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The centrality of the media for robust and incisive information on the new alignments and the president’s agenda cannot be gainsaid.
Many critics have talked about the increasingly blurred line between Opposition and government, but the crux today is constructive engagement and how the leadership and membership in Parliament address itself to issues that serve the interest of the citizens.
The media need to be at the crux of it all and it would be informative if spotlight is constructively focused on those who the President has privileged with key positions within ruling political formation.
Not just on how they serve the party interests, but on how they serve the leadership of this country.
And that does not in any way mean they need to be “yes” men. Not at all, they just need to deliver on making the lives of Kenyans better.
There is no better way to have themselves on the right side of history. —The Writer is a PhD Candidate in Political Communication