After seeing the thorough scrutiny that the three people nominated for the posts of Chief Justice,Deputy Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecution i think it is time we subjected anyone seeking elective post in this great republic through the same wringers.
They nominees were asked to list their assets,their salaries,the money in their bank accounts everything they can claim as theirs was laid bare to the public.Dr Mutunga when starting his interview quoted a proverb from his Kamba community that says”When you go to the circumscisers you go naked” ,we need the same kind of openness from all prospective candidates in the devolved government.
The public had even been asked to present memorandums to the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee(CIOC) on the suitability of the nominated candidates and we got a chance to listen to the people supporting their nominations and those who were against.As Kenyans we need to ask ourselves if we vetted all our parliamentarians and anyone seeking elective post in the government in this manner,where would we be?definitely miles ahead of Thailand and other emerging economies.Reason for this would be because we would be voting for ideals and virtues and not based on whims,tribal alliances ,prejudice or lack of knowledge.
Charles Onyango Obbo has written a great article in the Daily Nation on why Kenya needs more mad men to drive this country forward and at some point he says “the mad ones are the ones who shake trees,destroy the old order,and seek brave new worlds which everyone thinks only mad people can.”
It is time Kenyans went mad come next elections,time for us to shake up the way we have been doing things,time for a new order,time for leaders driven by ideals and noble aspirations ,time for selfless leaders,it is time for change.
Seeing that both the Judicial Service Commission and the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee approached their mandates bare knuckled and mercilessly,as an electorate we need to take our cue from them and subject all aspirants from the constituency,county to the Presidential seat to the same treatment.
The momentum we seem to be gaining in charting new ground as to how people are appointed to high in this country should not be lost.It for one second we lapse ,will be back to where we have been for the last 48 years, scraping at the bottom of the barrel and wondering what went wrong.
The Kenyan civil society,Law Society of Kenya,the Church and ordinary citizens need to start asking themselves about the kind of leadership we want in the country.The bar has been set already by the CIOC and the JSC.Are we ready as an electorate to subject our leaders to the same scrutiny?Are we ready to admit there there can no longer be any “sacred cows” and that anyone seeking leadership in this country needs to declare their wealth upto the last coin as to how much they have in their bank account?Are we ready to ask about previous criminal records they hold and whether they have faced any convictions?
It is only when we are able to answer these and other pertinent questions about our leaders that we can be sure we will be able to achieve the grand vision 2030 that is just 18 years away.This is because though we may have systems and laws in place, organizations are run by men and women and implementation of these laws is done by people.Only individuals with the highest standard of integrity and with the nations interest at heart can ensure that we achieve the ideals and goals our freedom fighters envisaged at independence.
My suggestion would be for Kenyan media houses, seeing that we have just about an year to go to the elections need to see how they can make this scrutiny part of their programming .This can be by promoting debates on national issues and getting rid of all the movies and endless soaps being played out everyday on our screens.It only takes one media house setting the pace by calling all interested presidential aspirants to a forum where issues and not politicking is discussed this can be the way towards generating debate based on issue and not mere rumors and propaganda.
During the interviews for the judicial jobs i was so enthralled by the way they were being carried out i hardly left my seat.As much as i cringed every time Ahmednassir threw a curve ball at the judges which i ranted about here,i must now admit i really do admire the forthright,honest and pointed approach he took to issues of honesty,integrity and capability of these candidates to handle the responsibilities of the job they were being interviewed for.
The ball is now on the citizenry,our media and all stakeholders to see how we can maintain this pace without slacking,its time for all of us to go “mad’.