As the building went down in rubles, so did my heart. It has been three to four since the plans for the expansion of our local road kicked off. The excavators came crushing everything on its path that stood on government land. Peoples live hood went down as well but when a children’s home went down without notice and they had to spent the whole night in the cold, I was beaten and dejected. Nobody spoke about it, nobody stood with the orphans who had been left homeless once more. I expected the local leaders to say a word , they remained numb. Let us look at the other side of the coin.
Am particularly focusing on the 2/3 gender rule that seeks to add the number of women legislators to reach the constitutional requirement. this is mend to increase the wages bill burden to the common citizens. We have seen politicians and leaders from across all political divide coming together and denouncing the retrogressive law in unison. There are alternatives to reaching the required number of women legislators than posing a burden to the citizens who are currently between a rock and a hard place financially. One such option is to increase incentives to political parties that nominate women. in such cases some leaders have dumped personal interest at the expense of the people.
Power and paper. Politics and money.. They are two sides of the same coin. Some argue that money is essential in fulfilling political ambitions wile others deem money as the corrupting agent in politics. Take a glance of the politician you know, and figure out the influence of cash in his/her political career.
I look at money as a corrupting factor in politics. My thinking is that leadership is not all about money but the ideas and vision. What of the poor leaders who are visionary and ambitious? Their fate is doomed only because their pockets are not fat enough to cough out cash during campaign trails.
It all boils down to the populace. At times I feel mindset change is the key. The leaders we choose because of their worth end up minding their own business-after all it is their money that placed them where they are. We end up being over presented while undeserved. We end up complaining of poor infrastructure, bad governance，crime , social inequality, drugs , finally labeling politics as dirty but for sure we are the one who made those choices- we chose money over morality. For every choice there is consequence, for the money you choose, there is tears awaiting.
Campus politics has recently taken a different dimension. I talk to one of the students who tells the impact of the change especially the new election rules. Here is what transpired.
Being a university student, what is your take on the current election laws introduced in the institution that has replaced the mass voting system with a system of delegation that chooses leaders for you?
The recent law that has replaced the mass voting system with a delegation that chooses student leaders is oppressive and suppressive. It brings compromise on leaders we wish for. Keeping in mind most of us are seniors and our right to vote is enshrined in the constitution, the law is aimed at taming the power of student leaders therefore manipulating them.
What has been the reaction of your leaders on this issue?
Nothing! Am surprised our leaders are silent! Really surprised! I expect more from them but they have failed us. It is really disappointing.
History has it that student leaders are bold and outgoing and courageous. What do you think has changed over time?
The government has instilled fear. If you remember, UON student leader was sentenced to jail for his involvement in the botched 1982 coup attempt, he later died in prison. Since then the government has been enacting laws to curtail , manipulate and control the power of student leaders. Laws such as this one.
A university degree is a pathway to a successful career which guarantees a good life for many Kenyan youths. This is not always the case to each and every student as some shift gears to enjoy the newly found freedom away from the keen eye of their guardians.
A handful lot consider leadership in student unions but a majority are not interested not only in the student union but in the larger society. Despite different developments in the student union governance and interference from the government and within the institution itself, notable national leaders were bred in the universities.
James Orengo, Siaya governor who is credited for a successful presidential petition during the last years presidential election is regarded as one of the finest legal mind in the Country was University of Nairobi’s student union chair elected in 1972 serving one term and is now a top member of the National Supper Alliance.
Just but to mention a few, Elgeiyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Mombasa senator Hassan Omar, Kisumu governor Angang Nyongo, the firebrand Miguna Miguna and the newest in the game Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino are national leaders who once served as student leaders in their respective higher institutions of learning.
The university has proven to be a breeding ground for most ambitious, decisive and firebrand leaders.