The question of whether some of our MPs in 55 perennially one term
constituencies "Are Jinxed", considering the outcomes of the last
three general elections ( STD Dec 17, 2011) raise fundamental
questions of leadership performance and voters judgements. Some
legislatures, once elected to the August House with great hope,
promise and fanfare, immediately forget the first law of their job:
The people have hired the MP and the easiest way to be regularly
re-elected is to govern well.
The voting public in every nation have placed their trusts, lives, liberties and
livelihoods in the hands of their elected leaders. Opportunistic
betrayal is therefor fatal for political careers. Citizens painfully
detest alibis. They know true, authentic leader when they see one.
Representation, whether at the national level or county, is always
plural; it always occurs within the context of others; all the
stakeholders of the democratic process, where the center of gravity is
Legislatures and other representatives and the voters are engaged in a
common enterprise. They are dependent on each other, their fortunes
are supposed to rise and fall together. Few people knew the " True
Compass" of the citizens of a democratic country as Edward Kennedy
who, before he passed on in 2009, served his people for almost 47
years as the Lion of the USA Senate with his famous, timeless clarion
call. " For all those whose cares have been our concern (
citizens/voters), the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still
lives and the dream shall never die."
At every election, people bring their strong fears, expectations and
experiences to the polling booths. They expect and hope their
representatives will enable them achieve extraordinary things.After
all, as Peter Drucker said, it is the test of great leadership to make
ordinary people perform better than they seem capable of, to bring out
whatever strength there is in its members and to use each person's
strength to help all other members perform and accomplish
The fact that for the initial time and in subsequent elections the
voters returned to parliament Minister Sam Ongeri, Deputy Speaker
Farah Maalim and MP Isaac Ruto among other notables is proof that
every election season comes with it its unique social dynamics. Then
the voters judge an incumbent MP against clear, expected, objective
governance parameters. what do the people say ? Little happens to them without those at top "turning up large rocks." After all bottlenecks are the head of bottles.
In the present Kenya, many things are changing for the better beyond
recognition. These includes absolute constitutional requirements of
leadership of integrity. integrity has number of dimensions. Honesty, truthfulness, reliability and loyalty to people and country are known to be some of the corner stones of integrity.
You cannot acquire integrity on the job training. It
is not abstract, it is concrete. It is one quality which is advisable
that leaders and managers of public affairs must bring with them
on seeking office. It is a public demand.
Another aptitude seekers of elective office should work to acquire, apparently, are skills of selling oneself and ideas to the electorate. A successful salesperson find out what the people want and help them get it. This is a good lesson for any politician who cares to endure with public applause.
Just as the purpose of business is the creation of a satisfied
customer, the purpose of a political leader is the creation of
empowered, happy citizen, capable of scaling extraordinary heights in
life. Not making or unmaking laws. Profitability and enacting laws are
not the purposes of business and legislatures respectively; only the
test of their validity.
Therefore, overcoming unplanned high parliamentary turnover, jinx, is
an individual commitment, luck or otherwise. Once our political
leaders internalize and appreciate the purpose of their mission in
terms of those " whose cares have been " their privileged duty,
everything else would fall into the correct place. They should,
however, always have sense of strategic timing of when to let it go
and say to all and sundry, " Thank you, goodbye".
That is good and proud moment for everyone.