Where are you placing your hopes in the presidential bid? You are said to be an exemplary implementer of CDF programmes in your constituency.
However do think Kenyans across the country know The Reverend Mutava Musyimi? Do you have a financial war chest?
— Githuku Mungai Mwimuto, Pwani University
Githuku, I am placing my hope on the people who are vulnerable and informed; people who are brave enough to move away from negative ethnicity and herd mentality.
People willing to seize and be seized by a fresh idea, commitment and vision of what a nation can become.
I am honoured to be a part of the Gachoka story. This has been fascinating even to me. At the heart of my strategy was owning the agenda of the community and working with them to implement it.
I have been an advocate for social justice for a long time, at the Nairobi Baptist Church and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).
This afforded me national profile. That said, I am aware that the younger generation may not be familiar with this part of my life. I have to reach out more.
I do not have a financial war chest, but I have what it takes to start a bold and vital journey.
Reflections on the Ufungamano Initiative that I led through a very difficult time in our history tell me that a modest budget handled with proper stewardship and shrewdness can achieve a lot.
You may be aware that it is the Ufungamano Initiative that finally laid a solid foundation for the constitutional legal reforms that followed. From this, I draw much inspiration.
Today, Mr Musyimi is different from the fiery Rev Musyimi during his tenure at NCCK. You have lost the passion and I think you’ve been compromised by the forces of impunity.
During your tenure at NCCK, you acted as a leader of opposition and put the government on its toes, but after election, your character befits a clergy to the contrary. Kindly exonerate yourselves from these claims.
— Captain Dismus Wekesa Barasa, Bungoma County
I certainly have not been compromised by the forces of impunity. The time for activism and advocacy ended when I was elected.
Once elected, my primary duty was to implement and deliver on promise. The Gachoka agenda became a priority. However my passion to serve the wider society remains.
In Kenya, to vie for the presidency, you require strong financial muscle to enable you crisscross the country before you access tribal (read ethnic) votes under lock and key. Do you have this asset? If you don’t have, how do you intend to win?
If we are to conclude that to win a presidential race, one must have deep pockets and a tribe to boot, then we are doomed!
Assuming that I have addressed your question (see above), I would like to say that I won Gachoka seat despite the fact that the community I am supposed to come from is in the minority.
There does, indeed, come a time when what matters in a leader is not what tribe or clan they come from, but what they can offer in terms of vision, values and capacity.
I am aware that few candidates anywhere have the resources to fund a presidential campaign without external support. The question is not whether I have money or tribe.
The real question is whether I have the vision and credibility to make people stop and say ‘hey, we have somebody who has something, and wow! It’s fresh.’ That is what the Gachoka moment was all about.
In my campaign, I have said IT IS TIME to get a leader who can be trusted with the agenda of the people.
Are you not being used by some individuals to divide the Ukambani votes given that the VP will also contest?
— Joel Ndole, Malonza-Mwingi
The decision to run for the presidency was my decision alone. I am not anybody’s project. If I was convinced that there was a better candidate out there, I wouldn’t run. Period.
How would 40 million plus Kenyans trust you with the implementation of the Constitution that you vigorously opposed (at the referendum)?
— Dan Tumbo, Kitui County.
Dan, to say that I opposed the Constitution is not correct. I could not oppose a document I had worked so hard and so long for.
It is instructive to note that Gachoka voted for the Constitution! I did indeed have problems with a few clauses.
I might add that the review process gave us a golden opportunity to unite Kenya. We squandered it. We lost the Church in the process. Indeed we treated the Church with contempt.
This was unfortunate given the fact that almost single-handedly, the Church carried the burden of the reform agenda before other players came on board.
Being a lone ranger and with a party that has no popularity, what attributes make you stand out among your competitors? What is your vision?
— Sammy Masafu, Webuye.
What is it you will do differently if you were to ascend to the higher office?
— Ruth Gituma
What is your ideological blue print, we really have no idea how powerful or how weak you are?
— Bishop Moses Wasilikwa, Kajiado County.
Sammy, I am not a lone ranger. If I were a lone ranger I would run as an independent candidate, but I have chosen a party.
As you are aware, I have declared Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) my political party of choice for the presidential race. I settled on DP because of its national profile, objectives, values, history and character.
Ruth, for the first time there will be a leader who will combine integrity and competence in the service of the Kenyan people. There will be a President who, rest assured, will be ‘Our President’.
Bishop Wasilikwa, because of limited space I will only give a summary of my campaign platform. My agenda for Kenya in the next five years will mainly focus on three key pillars: Economy, Governance and Social Sector Development.
Under these pillars, I will boost the standards of education, improve access to health care and focus on youth skills development.
In case you become the fourth President, how would you deal with the Mombasa Republican Council’s grievances?
— Daniel Mwendwa, Shanzu in Mombasa County.
It is my position that Kenya is a unitary State and it should remain so. However, I believe the cry of the MRC is the cry of Kenyans who feel marginalised.
They have long-standing and fundamental grievances that successive governments have failed to address. This will partly be dealt with through devolution. Honest and difficult conversations need to happen in the meantime.
Are you still involved in the activities of NCCK?
— Vincent Nyamache.
No I am not.
Last year when Kibaki violated the Constitution by appointing the Chief Justice, you unreservedly gave him your support as demonstrated by your conduct at the Justice Committee of Parliament. Why should I vote for a President who has no respect for the law?
— Norberts Mak’Oketch
Norberts, you have your facts wrong. With regard to the Attorney-General and Deputy Public Prosecutor, I was prepared to go along with a settlement arrived at by the two principals.
However, as far as the Chief Justice post was concerned, I was absolutely categorical that the matter be processed by the Judicial Service Commission.
How do you intend to navigate the murky waters of politics and still retain your religious convictions?
— Nyaoke George, Makindu
With the religious background that you have, do you plan to bank all your hopes on Christian backing, or are you a nationalist? What’s the density of DP at the grassroots level?
— Ngeno Kipyegon
How are you going to ensure your presidential campaigns are not entangled in dirty machinations that are common in Kenyan politics given your strong Christian background?
— Lilian N. Olala, Nairobi.
George, Ngeno and Lillian, your questions are quite similar I will try to answer them together.
Politics does not have to be ‘murky’. I have sought to practise my politics with integrity and I plan to continue doing so.
My campaign is not just about winning the presidency, it is about a radical change in our political culture. At the heart of this campaign is a passion to own, respect and implement the peoples’ agenda.
To a large extent, my faith defines who I am. That said, when elected, I will be a President for all Kenyans, not just Christians.
Water scarcity has greatly posed livelihood challenges to Kenyans living in arid and semi-arid regions. What should they expect from your presidency?
— Kakunguu Hustler, Mwingi, Kitui County
Kakunguu, my presidency will seek to provide safe drinking water. This, indeed, is what I have began to do in Gachoka.
I will ensure the protection of the water catchment areas. Without these, there will be a serious challenge to water security. This is what we have pushed for in the Lands and Natural Resources Committee under my chairmanship.
The fruits of our engagement in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation speak for themselves.
Impunity, Ethnicity, Corruption and undisciplined politics have ravaged our country. How do you convince us that Kenya of 42 tribes under your leadership will be better?
— Gilbert Njue- Mbeere South.
Gilbert, Impunity, Ethnicity, Corruption and undisciplined politics have not been associated with my public life.
I have all along sought to be effective, transparent, accountable, inclusive and diligent. That is the difference my leadership will bring to Kenya.
For the five years you have been in Parliament, what positive changes have you brought which Kenyans will use as a yardstick for judging your development ability?
My first priority was Gachoka. We have implemented water, electricity, roads, health, security and education projects. We are working hard on Title Deeds.
In Parliament, I have been a member of two committees namely The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and The Committee on Lands and Natural Resources, which I chair.
The three things that have been closely associated with my leadership are: The Syokimau investigation and audit; The enactment of three Land laws; Improved service delivery in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.