Education Permanent Secretary Prof James ole Kiyiapi says he will formally unveil his presidential bid in December, according to Capital FM Online News
Let me first say I am all for anyone who deems himself or herself qualified to run for president, to so openly announce as the good professor has done. If I were him, given his relative low name recognition, I would resign my position and immediately start saturating myself across the country both by way of introducing myself, and letting people know why it is I think I am better than the rest of the field because.
I would do so because I’ll be concerned saying I’ll formally announce six months from now would raise eyebrows as to why not now. I am not him, so let me do here all that I can by way of sharing with him, my views about what he is quoted as saying in the article below.
I have read the article below in its entirety, which in by itself, is a good introduction of the good professor and I agree with him on almost everything he has been quoted as saying.
I say almost everything because I take issue with a number of things the PS is quoted to have said:
The good professor is quoted as saying “We are working round the clock with professionals, like-minded leaders to ensure we come up with a clear vision of my candidature.” Emphasis mine.
If the good professor doesn’t have a clear vision of his candidature by now, which also translates into he does not have a vision as to where he would take the country as president either, then it’s a good thing he is taking time to declare so as to study presidential leadership and what it takes to both run for president, and to win the presidency.
In doing so, he would be served to stack himself against the rest of the field and, if after such evaluation he still believes he has what it takes, then let him make it official as that’s a net plus in our burgeoning democracy. There will be more time to learn about presidential leadership and campaigns during the campaigns and that’s called baptism under fire and, if the good professor emerges the winner, there will be still time to learn on the job.
That will be the second baptism under fire and we shall all do what we can to help him govern as our new president.
If he doesn’t make it, there will be another time, except the next time he would have had the experience to run for president and if elected, well he still will have to be baptized under fire, given coming from academia and technocracy is not exactly a recipe for successful presidential leadership; more is needed, especially on the political front.
Again, we shall do what we can to help him govern as our new president, with or without any limitations he may come laden with, if he emerges victorious as a duly elected president.
The good professor is also quoted to have said he was “ready to bring a new type of leadership that matches his youthful and fresh management skills.”
First, there is no correlation between youthfulness and management skills therefore the good professor is planting a ruse upon which to snag the unwary. I will in due course elaborate on this frequently cited “quality” of presidential leadership that has obviously become a refrain for a number of other presidential candidates when, in essence, what they are trying to argue, is that anyone older than they are, is too old to be president, which is obviously a false notion besides being self-serving.
Second, the good professor may bring with him all the “fresh management skills” he believes he possesses but if he has no demonstrable leadership skills, that will take him nowhere, certainly not as president.
I have read and re-read this article but it’s devoid of what leadership skills the good professor brings to the table.
Stating an all not too clear statement as to its meaning, “It is very clear that the successes and challenges our Kenyan people are facing are of great significance to any leader wishing to pursue justice and the needs of the citizens” may be good enough a reason as the good professor gives for “embarking on this journey” just for saying it but it may fall short of getting to the destination, unless one can show and prove more.
Ditto for noting any of of the altruistic sentiments expressed by the good professor on leadership, motivation, youth, and preventing the exodus of Kenyan professionals, which none of us can disagree with but that’s not what separates a leader from the pack; there has to be more, in this case, proof by measurable and persuasive reasons why the good professor is a better candidate and will be better president, if elected, than any of the other contenders, not just on the question of leadership ability, but as a total package as well.
Third, I agree with the PS that we need to change the conversations on a national and local level, and “move beyond the rhetoric into crafting real answers to the critical issues affecting the country.”
I take it that’s why he needs six months to come up with the answers.
Some of the candidates have the answers already but have been denied the opportunity to implement them.
2012 may be their turn, unless the good professor gets his wish, in which case the question remains, what answers does the PS have for the unspecified critical issues he refers to, different from those already tabled by other candidates such as Raila’s call for national unity and implementation of his reform agenda he has been at the forefront fighting for, for all Kenyans, as well as his proposals for development in line with Vision 2030?
Prof. Kiyiapi has given himself six months to find answers to this and other questions.
Let’s hope he comes up with good and better answers than others already have on the table, and therefore distinguish himself as such from them.
That’s what campaigns and new to the political scene he might be, the good professor can take solace he is not the only person facing the hurdles of tribalism, regional politics, and money issues, which he says are a concern for him; these are stables of Kenyan politics and he had better use the next six months in figuring how to rise above them and win the presidency rather than perfecting any of them to win the presidency.
Again, candidates like Raila have declared they are determined to be elected on account of their leadership ability and vision for our country and see what the good professor sees as hurdles, as an opportunity to do each one of them a blow, eviscerating those he must, such as tribalism and regionalism, while reducing the influence of money in politics.
The good professor may want to be once again a student and learn how that’s done so that he can continue from where the old professors leave things.
Turning the tables and teaching the professors how that can be done and succeeding at it will, indeed, be prove positive of what “fresh management skills” means as opposed to just management skills and certainly there cannot be any more proof necessary that one has leadership ability, if the pulls off a victory in 2012 against all these odds.