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Is Prof. James ole Kiyiapi Ready To Run For President? Not Yet, He Says; He’ll Be Ready In December

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.

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Politics

 

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Prof. Kiyiapi Is An Excellent Technocrat But More Is Needed and Necessary to Be President

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.”

My response:

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.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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