The great season for harvesting leaders to elective positions with just a few months away, it is time Kenyans must conduct forensic audits and critical assessments of the leaders they elected during the last general elections and those who want to be elected.
That exercise must be done coldly and ruthlessly with deadly precision by every individual voter who cast his or her ballot at the last general elections including all those who are going to vote in August 2017 to elect new leaders – that is to decide the political careers of these leaders.
The focus must be right from President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto right through the opposition leaders who are interested in that office like Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and many others.
Then all the way to the sitting and aspiring Senators, Members of Parliament, the Governors, and the Members of the County Assemblies without putting the usually fluid and volatile of issue of party affiliation to the front burner but first the personality equation.
The most critical issues as far as these personalities are concerned is their integrity first, ability to deliver that is performance, ability to contain corruption, nepotism and tribalism, professionalism and above all sound management and leadership.
The most important equation being whether those we elected into office at all these levels and are currently occupying those positions after five years have they performed 100 per cent in meeting the required thresholds in these areas? Then it automatically follows that do they qualify to defend these positions or seek higher offices or simply to be booted out?
This brings us to the question of those who are aspiring to be elected to these same positions at the next general elections either for the first time in their lives, others are making a second or third or so attempt(s) but do they meet the required high levels of integrity and ability in the areas mentioned above?
Then finally are we going to be influenced by monetary inducements from these politicians, tribal considerations, political party considerations, personality abilities, the national interests, and above all the constitutional requirements?
Then we must ask ourselves why we must individually bother ourselves with this mind exhausting exercise. What has clearly emerged over the nearly five years since we elected these leaders into office is massive corruption and outright looting right from the national level all the way to the counties.
The multi-billion shillings corruption and outright looting at high levels of the Jubilee government have over the years consistently hit the national media outlets headlines as President Kenyatta relentlessly tried to fight to the extend of publicly declaring that he has tried his level best to fight the corruption monster but he is almost giving up.
The Auditor General Edward Ouko has over the years consistently documented hundreds of billions of shillings tax payers money that has never been accounted in government ministries, departments state corporations and now crowned by the more than 47 counties spread across the country – their executive arms of the government and the county assemblies.
That aside it is now widely acknowledged that mega corruption has been devolved to the county levels of government where previously it was mainly concentrated at the national government level before the devolved government structures came into force with the actualization of the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya 2010.
Starting from the Busia County alone, the sitting Governor Sospeter Ojaamong who was simply elected to that seat on a silver platter his government has been deeply swallowed up in corruption with each and every tender and contract dispensed over the years completely tainted with corruption and looting – why? Simply because of bad choice of leadership.
It is indeed on record that Ojaamong’s homes and offices both in Nairobi and Busia were simultaneously raided by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) agents where they seized huge amounts of hard cash, computers and other pieces of evidence in corruption allegations concerning the governor – leave alone the entrenched ethnicity equation at his office.
The most critical question is that do we want to elect these kind of leaders back to the office with what consequences or do we want to elect personalities of integrity and un-questionable ability to deliver without being sucked into rampant corruption and outright stealing of public cash?
There are indeed three personalities with high professional qualifications or credentials and experience to their credit who have already shown, declared and pressured by the public to show interest to contest against Ojaamong at the coming general elections.
They are led by the Agriculture Finance Corporation (AFC) Chief Executive Lucas Meso, his former colleague at the helm of the National Irrigation Board (NIB) Eng. Dan Barasa, immediate Kisumu County Secretary Humphrey Nakitari, Funyula legislator Paul Otuoma, former contestant of the same seat Eng. Vincent Sidai and now former Nambale constituency legislator Chrisanthus Okemo.
A brief critical analysis of these personalities shows that to date Meso as a professional has successfully served and effectively delivered in a huge national multi-billion shillings corporation without being tainted with corruption allegations despite handling these huge amounts of money to millions of farmers spread across the country.
Eng. Barasa has a bone to pick with his former employers at the National Irrigation Board where he was forced to quit under highly acrimonious circumstances pitting himself on the one side and the board members on the other forcing the intervention of the minister for water and irrigation Eugene Wamalwa.
There are also many un-answered queries concerning Barasa’s handling of the multi-billion shillings meant to finance the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Project jointly funded by the Israeli and the Kenya governments.
That aside Nakitari who as a career provincial administration professional who was formerly Commissioner Kisumu County before becoming its Secretary to date appears to have not been tainted by a scandal that could put his integrity to microscopic scrutiny.
However, the Funyula legislator has got many integrity questions that have erupted over the years during his leadership as the Funyula MP and cabinet minister in the ministry of youths and sports.
At the ministry level Otuoma a veterinary Doctor by profession is yet to answer accusations of abusing his position by employing his girl friends to senior positions especially at the Youth Fund. There is also the pending questions concerning the use of the Constituency Development Fund for his constituency whose management and leadership he allegedly splashed to his cronies and relatives.
There is also the critical question of surrounding himself with cronies like Ojaamong whose word is law and real physical roadblocks to access the legislator finally crowned by the use of the former Economic Stimulus monies and who gets contracts to do what on CDF and any other projects.
Eng. Sidai the man who contested against Ojaamong at the last general elections and lost may not have had much integrity queries before but it has since clearly become evident that his SOW construction company has since Ojaamong took office as governor been getting multi-million shillings constructions contracts under highly questionable circumstances.
Lastly is Okemo the man who has entered the fray for the county’s governorship lately to try and make a political comeback after losing out badly to Senator Amos Wako is a character with a multi-billion shillings money laundering scandal and extradition case pending before courts in the New Jersey.
Okemo’s 15 year tenure at the helm of the Nambale constituency can only be described as worse than catastrophic disaster that left the constituents in horrendous poverty levels they had never witnessed in the country’s history and totally constituents enslaved to cash handouts in a deadly stranglehold dispensed by Okemo and his handlers at electioneering time but disappearing for the rest of the five years after elections.
It is indeed from this background that as Kenyans prepare for this general election conduct their own individual forensic audits of their leaders and aspiring personalities for various elective positions before making their powerful decisions through the voters card – never forgetting the fact that huge amounts of financial inducements will be splashed to influence their decisions whose consequences may be catastrophic in the long run.