Third Eye

Political journey milestones are critical

Monday, February 28th, 2022 00:23 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Opposition leader Raila Odinga when they announced a political truce in March, 2018. Photo/PD/File

There are simple things that give life meaning and often we miss the point when looking for grandiose stuff. This coming week and probably the past one, most young parents have seen or will see their children graduate from pre-school enroute to Grade One after the long holidays. 

Most talk on social media have been critical of parents who celebrate their children for this great milestone. You see, for two to three years, these parents have seen their children wake up, go to school every day, finish play school, PP1 and now done with PP2.

Not celebrating such milestones is missing the small athings that build up to the social fabric of the society. Milestones are critical, especially when looked at with an evaluation mind. Graduation is essentially a reflection of what has been done, what has been accomplished and what next.

Milestones provide a better yardstick and a basis for forging a better pathway, even as we look over our shoulder and build on the past. But even as we do so, we need to look at the milestones we have made and give ourselves a part on the back, for the things we have gotten right and most importantly- use the milestones for evaluating the political candidates looking for leadership. 

Azimio for instance has come at a time when a crop of leadership that has bestrode the corridors of power for years is at this critical point in their political careers - the twilight of the life in politics. Therefore, the symbolic value of holding the Jubilee National Delegates Conference at the foot of Jomo Kenyatta’s monument at Kenyatta International Convention Centre,  should be juxtaposed with what happened at the dawn of independence.

Well, independence brought together many leaders whose focus was attainment of nationhood and we need to take stock of the achievements we have made for the last six decades. Truth be said, the rain has beaten us thoroughly along the way and we have a lot to take stock of before we move to the next level.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s olive branch to other leaders and his iconic journey from the foot of the monument of the founding President, is poised to raise pertinent issues. Could this be the beginning of ‘righting’ of any wrong that our sixty year journey has taken? 

Is it possible that the deep conversations the President and Raila Odinga had before the Handshake and the attendant journey, have been informed by the need to return to where we began and to right the wrongs that our founding fathers might have committed?

When you harness the experience of Kalonzo Musyoka, Charity Ngilu, Kivutha Kibwana and a host of other leaders including the most iconic symbol of reforms in this country; Raila Odinga with President Uhuru Kenyatta at the centre of it, what does that portend?

Some of these leaders have been at the forefront of defining the direction this nation should take as presidential candidates, civil society luminaries and they have served in different capacities, but adding to their experience the exuberance of the emerging national leaders like Jeremiah Kioni, Kanini Kega and Governors Ali Hassan Joho and Alfred Mutua among others is definitely worth interrogating.

As agile citizens, we must be critical of the journey we have made and the kind of progress we need to make going forward. At the national level, it does seem that Azimio is painting the country blue and it would not come as a surprise if we see a robust response and turn of events in Azimio’s rival groups. 

But it should not be lost to Kenyans that we are going to elect 48 governments. Today there are counties whose yearly budgets have benefited a very narrow select of elites, either through orthodox or unorthodox means like corruption.

Voters in different counties need to evaluate the milestones their counties have made. Azimio should be a vehicle of shared economic prosperity that will build on the gains of the last five to 10 years and we need to ensure that even at the county levels, we have substantive leadership and not opportunists who are intent on riding on the Azimio wave.

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