: Why we shouldn't ignore Kennedy Mong'are's presidential bid
“Change you believe in” Barrack Obama, 2008
The slogan by then US Presidential candidate campaign Barrack Obama triggered some sense of hope on Black and other minority population that actually ‘their’ man could be the next occupant to the White House. And on January 20, Barrack was sworn in as the president and given authority to use the Oval office. That was then and eight years down the line that happened and is still a shock to some extremists who wonder how that happened. That was the change and belief Obama instilled in the hearts of Americans and they did believe that and going against the status quo together with the establishment.
Over the past few years the world over, there has been a new wave of anti-establishment. If I can recall well it started with the Brexit vote in the UK led by now Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson then the wave spread and now eyes are on French populist Tea party and Rome mayor Virginia Raggi. And lately against all odds, billionaire businessman Donald Trump went all the way to clinch the presidency during the November elections in the US. And it seemed that they were all touching the nerves and raised emotions and feelings of their audiences.
Back to Kenya.
For the first time in years, I have a strong feeling in politics and I do find I have a leaning toward a certain angle. Kennedy Mong’are is the man. As he was announcing his presidential bid at a Nairobi hotel one could get that feel of change forever yearned for in different corners of this country. The 1969-born Nyamira senator came out strongly with a message to all, “We want our country back” and “Turudishe nchi yetu kwa barabara inayofaa” translated to “Let’s return our country to the road that is worth it”. Having spoken on a wide range of matters from food security, Foreign policy, corruption and other issues of national interest Senator Mong’are provoked thought and is someone who cannot be ignored or brushed aside.
During the past election cycles, leaders from both the ruling side of government and the Opposition have been selling themselves as ‘young’ and have been selling this notion to the young generation and have been elected overwhelmingly but now the prayers have been answered with someone aged forty-seven offering himself now to the public to offer the lead.
One of the thought-provoking issues, while he was announcing his bid was the fact that for once, as a country we can elect someone and decide to let go off those names that have been in the Kenyan political scene since our country gained independence. Some names have been there for so long that if any freedom fighter reincarnated would think it is still 1952 under the state of emergency if only one name is mentioned to them. This is the group the Senator said consists the cartel of the 1-2 percent who hold the country at ransom just because things are not going their way.
Mong’are wants to build a country of accountability where everyone can account for everything they own, which according to him, since the promulgation of the new constitution asking Kenyans of goodwill to join and reclaim the country from the political high priests who have nothing to show. Why should I vote for a government or a leader so that roads can be built and schools facilitated better yet that is the responsibility of the government of the day? It is not an ambitious plan but if the realisation of future achievements is better then being ambitious and believing in Mong’are is the way to go.
The previous regimes and the opposition sides of the day have been taking the whole country for a ride with empty promises of what they would do and in some quarters, though still in power are thinking about the 2022 General elections yet a few projects are far from over. A country where can doctors strike and three weeks down the line no one from the government or the other side has spoken about it just because they can fly out to Singapore or South Africa is really worrying.
Is it that we vote along tribal lines and the ‘big club tribes’ carry the day that we are afraid to ‘try out’ new options? That is not the way to go. All of us are Kenyans and as the Holy Bible says “…time and chance happened to them all.” everyone has a fair chance to take a stab at the presidency. It is not just a reserve of the rich. You may have money to buy people and opulence but you cannot buy leadership and integrity.
I wish to send my congratulatory remarks to the Kisii Senator Kennedy Mong’are on his bid. It is a journey that surely will change this country even for generations to come. Let the young and old, the tribal and the tribe-less, the haves and the have-nots join this guy for history to be written, after the Independence day in 1963 another historic day was written again in 2017.