In Plato’s Republic, Socrates describes those supposed to be charged with running the affairs of the state as philosopher kings. These were people with vast knowledge across academic fields, and massive experience managing public affairs. This made them to be equivalents of prophets or rabbis based on their abilities to discern the flow of things, take calculated moves and risks not for their good but for the good of those they rule, and even make weighted statements. Philosopher kings had the power to predict sequences of events based on their mastery of theories and practices that guide governance. In effect, most of their decisions, actions and statements were celebrated and trusted by their subjects from across political divides. Leaders were supposed to be revered and looked upon as the actual representatives of God on earth. God spoke and acted through them to the sustenance of human societies and mother nature as a whole. True leaders, as envisaged by philosophical and religious texts, were to be the most learned but also the most humble of all. Not the egoistic and discriminating type that divide the publics into part that is their own and another that is their burden.
Fast forward to Kenya, then you ask yourself where things went wrong. These are not my words, but it is true that Kenya is a country held hostage by puppies, witches drug lords and thieves in the name of leaders; they even refer to each other as such. Not that I like it when they do that. This kind of characterization of fellow leaders breeds division and conflicts among followers of each. It also breeds a culture of disrespect for leaders and for each other among the citizens. Their ills that earn them these tittles, however, if true, should be identified, investigated and punished by state. Further to this, that the president of the state and his deputy can look at the members of public through a dichotomy and refer to some of certain ethnic groups as witches and militia is unfortunately very sad. This means that in their eyes, some tax payers are saints and others are an evil, purely because they don’t support their rulership.
If our leaders really went to school and mastered whatever they were taught, they should have known that society, just like the human body, is made of interconnected parts that must work in harmony with each other to deliver sustainability. That is not the case in Kenya were politics and daylight robbery of public resources is the norm. If you think that is not the case, then ask yourself, why does our government think that every item costs a billion Kenya Shillings while in reality, less than five percent of the country’s citizens have at any given time held a hundred thousand shillings in their hands? Do you think our governors both at national and county levels consider it seriously that the well-being of the state lies in giving opportunities to as many people to earn a living as possible as from there comes the state’s income? They confuse being good managers to be equivalent with being loud mouths and hurling the sharpest insults at their perceived opponents. They are indeed our only curse that the creator so abundantly wrathed us with. What a disgrace!
Kenya has soils that need protecting through practicing sound agriculture and land reclamation, the state has wetlands that have been neglected for so long, and these have been grabbed and developed by private individuals as state officials sleep and also loot, our economy is tilted so that the rich are making more money as the poor get poorer, our education and health systems are in tatters, unemployment in Kenya is among the worst globally, our lakes and rivers are drying up; and many other ills that we can cite which needs working on. But does the government and elected leaders notice these? Instead, the so called custodians of the state are the number one to rape it lead by the president and the opposition leader.
When everybody is busy positioning themselves to run away with the biggest piece of the pie as they call it, then who is for Kenya now? When citizens are divided into political camps and nobody is listening to the other, who is protecting the state and public interests that have been neglected for so long? Do the so called leaders who roll in V8 vehicles and private planes know how hard life is for the ordinary mwananchi on the ground? Do they know how painful our ulcers are? Ulcers caused by eating mboga and strungi daily as they roll their tummies around and throw abuses at us? Do they know how we, the actual people of Kenya, have ulcers gotten from swallowing the bitter words that they spew on us through TV and radio stations every passing hour? Can’t these so referred to as puppies, witches drug lord and thieves of leaders just leave us to enjoy our sorrow in peace as they swim in the joy their abundant loots? After taking everything that belongs to us citizens can’t they just leave us alone and stop the ‘political’ bickering? I think it is a high time these so called leaders knew that punda amechoka.
We know that as Kenyans, our undoing lies in our inability to elect philosopher kings of leaders, we actually prefer to vote in ‘wajinga kama sisi’ who will be at our level, as many would say (unfortunate), but it is also not too much to ask that they speak less and act more on the ills that are sickening this society. At least that way, their ignorance will not be too visible and we will be less sick of them. So, the next time we see the puppies, witches, drug lords and thieves, can we boldly tell them that the ulcers they are causing us are too much and that they should tone down their theatrics and do a bit more of what matters, even as ‘uneducated’ as they happen to be? Further to that, it may also be important that the Kenyan people learn to hold back all the abuses they hurl at each other an d focus on restoring national unity, trust and nation building, of which’s doing requires revisiting concerns I raised in my previous article.