A fellow Kenyan posted in another forum regarding Prof. Kiyiapi and those questioning whether the professor has what it takes to run and be elected president of Kenya. The writer noted, “I am uncomfortable people asking newcomers ‘what have you done’ to be president. The question applies to people who have been in office/public office most of their life.”
While comfort is a subjective value, I cannot see why asking any presidential candidate the question what has he done presidential, is not the right thing to do. A person must demonstrate they are capable of handling the peculiar demands of being a leader of a country and noting past experiences to inform in that regard is, in fact, a must for anyone who wishes to be so elected.
Put another way, the Professor is one of many equally intelligent and competent Kenyans who, if that were the only criteria to run for president, we’ll have a field of candidates so large it will not be necessary to hold presidential elections. There is a reason we have a limited number of candidates running for the high office and not the least of that is the absence of candidates with the requisite experience and skill to handle both politics and policy among the would be contenders.
Note I am not questioning the Professor’s competency or his work as P.S. as others have; from all I can tell the man is like any other P.S. who by definition are not average in competence and ability. Indeed, the list of our country’s ills is long but you cannot include in that list the lack of skilled technocrats who each president from Kenyatta on knows are essential if the cash-flow to their pockets from the public till is to be maintained.
BTW, have you ever stopped to wonder how after decades of pillaging our country still has a relatively respectable GDP? If so, look no further than the PS office and the men and women who head it. But for them, the country would have been in total economic collapse a long time ago. I can also tell you even in the worst of times, countries, businesses, and individuals continually enter into contractual obligations with counterparts in Kenya regardless of who is president and the state of the economy because of one little known fact: these contracts endure in Kenya no matter the economic or political climate, which also partially explains our economic survival despite all of what we have gone through.
Imagine what it would be like if we did not have the impediments we have had chief among them corruption.
But I digress. My point is, our country is blessed with many a talented Kenyan, including technocrats like Prof. Kiyiapi’s who have helped keep the country functioning even in the face of all forms of maladies.
This does not mean, however, that if you pluck any one of these individuals and plant him or her at State House he or she will do an equally superb job there; far from it as that’s a totally different animal altogether.
Having said all that, let me say I wish the good professor nothing but good luck as he embarks on his sojourn. Given the empty rhetoric we have heard and had from all the other candidates challenging Raila, it will be healthy to have him in the mix as long as he does not succumb to the politics of ukabila and deceit which afflicts and guides the rest of the pack other than Raila.
Peace, Love and Unity.
Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.