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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why Do Kibaki, Raila And Kalonzo Want To Rule Kenya On Borrowed Time?

Fellow Kenyans, countrymen, lend me your ears and please leave your hearts out of this weighty matter before us.

Let us start with the facts. Tony Blair took over as Prime Minister of one of the major Western powers of this planet in 1994 when he was a tender 41 years old. Looking at his tenure and even despite criticism, he has done a reasonably good job. Mr Blair is now retired at the age of 54. That age in Kenya is way too young to become president.

Bill Clinton was 47 when he was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the most powerful nation on earth in 1993. To date he is one of the most successful democrat presidents in the history of the US.

This November 15th Mwai Kibaki, baptized Emilio Stanley by Italian missionaries (but he never uses those names), will be 76. If elected to another term as President of an almost obscure 3rd world country, he will complete that second term at the age of 81. Age is nothing but a number, but surely@#! Assuming that we do this thing the Kenyan way where the presidency is some sort of monarchy that hands down power to the VP (that’s why George Saitoti was so angry that Moi did not hand over the presidency) then Moody Awori should take over the reigns in 2012. He will be a “youthful” 85 years old.

Raila Amolo Odinga who many believe is currently the front runner challenger for the presidency, is 62 years old and if elected at the end of this year, he will finish his term aged 67.

Kalonzo Musyoka whom the Akamba people are fond of calling “baby face” because he looks deceivingly young is 54, one year to the mandatory retirement age from the Kenyan civil service. But you can bet your lunch for the next month that the job he is after is many times more stressful than that of most civil servants.

All these folks want to be President of Kenya at all costs. But where were they during all those years which most Kenyans refer to as the Nyayo error? There time to rule was during that 24 years and is now past and gone forever. If these kenyans and their supporters really love their motherland, they should all make way for a younger generation of leaders.

Save for Raila who tried out the bad idea of a military coup in 1982, the rest were all cowering behind the Nyayo skirts. What do they expect now?

At this time when they should all be at their rural homes playing with their grand children and reminiscing, they want instead the presidency of Kenya. Little wonder that most government policies these days are excellent reminisces of the 70s when for instance the way to create jobs was to attract a couple of foreign investors to set up one or two big factories.

But the more scary thing is that if younger Kenyans (that is me and you) continue with their coward ways of wanting to cross the mud paddle that is Kenya today in a white suit and land on the other side spotless, then we may just find characters like John Githongo and John Kiarie (of redikyulas fame) fighting over the presidency when they are about 90 years old. That is because at this rate, that is the earliest that the present generation of jokers will all be through with dreaming of traveling in a long motorcade of vehicles. And it will not be because they are tired.

Kenyans need to wake up and realize that the challenges facing us in the world today are best suited to be handled by a new generation of Kenyan leaders. I hear people talking about experience and I get sick because when one considers the experince one Johnstone Kamau had when he took over as president, it is just laughable. The man had never been councilor even one day and the only institution he had led briefly was a school. Let me not talk about Moi because I will sopund abusive and I don't want to.

But you know where all this brainwashing of the young has come from don't you. It's from the guys who fear to come anywhere near a PC and who are ruling Kenya today telling you you need lost of experience. Experience doing what? Embezzling public funds and being corrupt and tribalistic? When all this is going on, younger Kenyans like the forty-something year old managing director of Barclays Bank Kenya are doing wonders generating profits for a foreign bank.

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vikii said...

Thank you kumekucha for that well written post. As usual I am taking the opposite half of the field, In other words I am asking to be allowed to trash the well written but very misleading piece.

First of all Gordon Brown, the current prime minister of Brit'n took over at 56 and the below average George bush took over aged 54. It would make slightly more sense if you wanted us to consider the ages of the current leaders of these two contries, but as i said that would still be some slight sense. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are in my opinion some of the best leaders the world has ever seen but using the ages of only two leaders to determine the standard age of presidents is what Taabu would call biased estimation.

It would have made more sense if you gave us the average ages of British prime ministers or American presidents as the ideal ages of presidents at inaguration. The average age of American presidents is 54.8 years. Call it 55. The cases of Blair and Clinton are what we call in statistical quarters 'outliers'. The mean age makes more sense unless you have very concrete evidence that these two were the very best performers of all times.

I strongly believe that age has absolutely nothing to do with someone's ability to lead a nation. The current crappy requirement of a minimum of 35years should be abolished like today. The subscribers of a certain political ideology in Kenya have consistently chosen to be petty in their assesment of what political path we should take. They have called Mwai kibaki 'ailing and tired' just because he is slightly older than the person they support. We all know what the lead article at kumekucha would be every single day if Raila Odinga was say 53. We would all be lectured on how 62 year olds are senile but because that's the age of the political messiah then we shift the goal post of being 'senile' to 76. When we are tempted to admit that 62 is also too old, we refuse to do that but we choose to go back 10 years so that we capture every single real competitor. That is cheap. I would be happy if we judged presidential candidates not based on their ages but their characters. Attempting to throw stones when we live in glass houses is exposing our folly far too much.

Of course no American president ever assumed office at 71 like Kibaki. But we should also not be blind to the fact that only 4 (outliers) out of the 43 (44 counting Hillary)presidents were older than Raila today is. The majority have of course been older than Kalonzo by a year or so. If age is a factor (And i refuse to believe it is) and assuming we continue to believe Nairobi should always copy what London and Washington do then Kalonzo is the man. I know how cheap this sounds but how else do u respond to a cheap article?

chris said...

Thank you guys for carefully side-stepping the issue of the "dinosaurs" (as Taabu aptly calls them) who have been in politics for decades and added absolutely no value except "surviving" and now want to be president.

God help Kenya because skirting round issues and avoiding the real issues like the plague is a national past time. Currently we are discussing increasing constituencies when what we should be discussing is the performance of the current MPs that we have. WOW!!!


chris said...

By the way folks, I have traced the ip addresses of some of the people leaving comments here, to very strange places in Nairobi. Not that I am surprised.

I thought these guys are professional enough to at least have the sense to use a cyber.

I will toboa soon enough guys, but meanwhile take some comments here with a pinch of the necessary salt will you.

P.S. what has really shocked me is the fact that one of the Dereks is very, very suspect.

Phil said...

The age limitation on presidential candidates is a constitutional matter Chris. It has been 'used' before to place hurdles in the path of young and promising politicians like Tom Mboya. It was adequately addressed in the Bomas Draft before Kibaki and his chronies trashed the draft. I think it would be dangerous political naivety to let a 18 or 19 year old to assume the presidency. Infact, I think the 35 years age limit is OK, and what we should be debating is the upper age limit.The retirement age in Kenya varies between 55 and 75. In the civil service it is 55 while in private companies it is 60. Judges retire at 75 while university lecturers employed before 1984 can work till they reach 60. Those employed after 1984 retire at 55. My own opinion is that anyone runnig for president should not be more than 70 years, while anyone running for MP or be qualified to be appointed to cabinet should not be more than 60 years old. But then again, I remind you these are constitutional matters and can never be attained so long as the current regime and their like minded predecessors are around the scene protecting their ill gotten wealth and untold crimes against Kenyan people.

Anonymous said...

Cleaver ploy there Mutua, I can remember your language from Sydney!!! Sounds well thought out but as usual always dancing away from the main issues. You're earning your money's worth, making chapaa. We shall see what that will do for you in 5 years time.

Better a spontaneous lie than have a job of lying...


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