What Uhuru Kenyatta’s Appointment of Njiraini As KRA Commissioner General Tells Us About UK’s Leadership Ability

21 Jan

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has filed a case seeking reverse the appointment of Mr. John Njiraini as the next Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) by on grounds the recruitment process lacked transparency and public participation.

The rush with which the appointment was done and notwithstanding the fact there was and still is a case pending challenging the recruitment process tells us more about Uhuru Kenyatta as minister of finance and his leadership ability than whether Njiraini is qualified to hold the position or not.

No matter what criteria one uses to measure leadership ability, it is clear from UK’s rush to appoint someone to a key Treasury position notwithstanding a pending case challenging the process by which the person was selected, is in bad faith and contemptuous of the legal process and that’s true whether or not the judge hearing the underlying case issued an order or not.

What UK basically did, is try and thumb his nose at the judge, forgetting the judge, or the court, for that matter, will have the final say on this issue.

That’s not only dumb, it clearly evinces either a clinging to old ways of thinking and/or doing things or a tactless manner of dealing with the new dispensation in politics and law or both but neither is anything to write home about in as far as leadership skills go.

Indeed, I would point to this one example and a few recent ones including the “typos” in his budget that cost Kenyans billions as sufficient reason to disqualify UK from being elected president.

There is no doubt a debate must be had regarding what should be done in the next administration to bring balance to appointments in government despite the obviously slanted manner these appointments have been made in favor of one community.

Let’s hope there is nobody who disagrees something must be done to once and for all deal with this vice of nepotistic and tribal appointments.

I say that fully aware we are never, ever going to eradicate the vice, just as much as we are never, ever going to eradicate tribalism and hate but it’s proportionality we are talking about.

Had all the thieves and crooks who have emptied the public till over the last three decades merely taken 1/3 of what they have, they will still be filthy rich but the difference is, the 3/4 or so not stolen would have gone to develop our country as it was intended to for the benefit of all who now suffer because they didn’t but instead chose to eat like the gluttons they are.

Ditto for appointments; yes, pile tribesmen and women to positions if you must but not at the greedy and gluttonous levels we have witnessed in the Kibaki administration.

Have this people no shame or sense of fairness?

Of course, they don’t.

Were UK a smarter politician vying for president, he would not engage in this type of in your face nonsense he is likely to be slapped with an order to start over the process of recruiting a successor to Waweru as KRA Commissioner General consistent with the mandates of the constitution regarding regional and gender balance.

That he has engaged in this shameless but dumb conduct is more so the reason he should not even bother putting his name forth as a presidential candidate.

All this may be moot, if the charges against him are confirmed on Monday but I take it if he is shameless and dumb to thumb his nose on the court as he has here, he would not be fazed with such confirmation of charges and would instead go ahead full-steam seeking a presidency he nonetheless may not be elected to for the legitimate and unrelated reasons he is not the best qualified to be so elected.

I have blogged before that I have met UK in person twice and was impressed on both occasions on how sharp he is contrary to what I had believed before but that’s not to say he is the sharpest knife in the drawer nor does it mean he is so to the exclusion of all others and add to the mix the fact he really has no leadership experience, he falls short of being presidential material.

He cannot even point to his performance at Treasury as an accomplishment other than for his ability to pile his clansmen there in all kinds of positions and that can only garner him votes from those who would vote for him anyway.

The irony of it is, after being soundly rejected as a Moi project, he never learned to curve himself a path to the presidency divorced from the Moi era but instead pretty much remains the same inexperienced wannabe a decade later.

If he were even smarter than figuring his shenanigans with the KRA position is dumb, he would take time off and really chart a new path to the presidency when Kikuyus are once again allowed to vie for the presidency.

I say this knowing and we have seen many progressive Kikuyus themselves who agree we need a break from our brothers and sisters from occupying the State House at least for the next two terms.

Let our friend UK spend the intervening time honing his leadership and political skills and I am sure he would be a favorite when that time comes lest he be given a run for his money from the likes of Peter Kenneth who could floor him even now were the contest about leadership and lack of baggage among and between those from the former Central.

He can start on that path by reversing himself on the KRA appointment and order a new recruitment process before the court orders him to do so.

That will be the politically smart thing to do for it will gain him some credibility.

That’s, of course, assuming the charges against him are not confirmed on Monday and if they are, the wiser and politically smarter thing to do, is to step aside as finance minister and certainly not run for president until the case is over.

If the charges are confirmed against him and he chooses to thumb his nose on the ICC court by remaining put in his portfolio and continue to seek the presidency, Kenyans will tell him no and resoundingly so for this very reason and many others.

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Politics


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