Uhuru must strive to detribalise politics and power in the country
Posted Saturday, March 9 2013 at 18:54
- They must strive to improve ethnic cohesion. The new administration must prioritise ethnic harmony and de-ethnicise politics and power in the country.
The 2013 elections are over. The excruciating but necessary postmortem on a number of germane issues by diverse interest groups will start soon. Losers and winners across the board will reflect on their fortunes and ill luck.
For the new kids on the block, President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect William Ruto, what should be their agenda and urgent priorities for the country?
The new administration faces a number of pressing imperatives and startling national and international priorities.
Of course, they both face the trials at the International Criminal Court.
Their joint victory must be seen as a powerful slap in the face of sponsors of the ICC cases, their local surrogates and the Western powers that invested so much in terms of time and resources on the case.
This notwithstanding, Uhuru and Ruto must hit the ground running, and soon. A few things are going for Uhuru and Ruto.
It is fair to say that they have a clear and very strong mandate from the Kenyan electorate. Being the first chief executives elected under the new Constitution means a lot and carries with it many bragging rights and responsibilities.
They got votes across the entire country. They are youthful and energetic politicians with an admirable track record.
One curse they should avoid at any cost is to have differences and suspicion between the two of them that could derail their agenda.
Kenyans have in the past witnessed the sickening scenes of political infighting, breach of coalition agreement and the emergence of political “mafia” and informal gatekeepers that create a wedge between political partners. Uhuru and Ruto must take coalition partnership to a new level of mutual trust and cohesiveness.
The country is ethnically polarised. The big tribes, who in essence are the cause of Kenya’s historic ethnic disharmony, have yet again voted along tribal lines. In a way, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. It is a mere expression of the collective will of the tribe to vote in one direction.
African-Americans, Latinos and Jews always vote as ethnic groups for democratic presidential candidates in America.
Still, it must be high on the priorities of the new regime to bring Kenyans together.
They must strive to improve ethnic cohesion. The new administration must prioritise ethnic harmony and de-ethnicise politics and power in the country.
An administration that will make all Kenyans feel they have a stake in the affairs of the country will be helpful. On the home front, Uhuru and Ruto should prioritise the revival of the economy and job creation for the unemployed.
This is a critical challenge for the new administration. An integral component of reviving the economy should be a new approach to agriculture.
We should not only be self-sufficient in food production, but must engage in agricultural export. New manufacturing industries and greater support for information technology will be important.
Law and order must be high on their list of priorities. We have seen the enormous benefits of judicial reforms. The peaceful conclusion of the election was greatly helped by the reformed Judiciary under the stewardship of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. Uhuru and Ruto must unreservedly support judicial reforms.
In addition, the police and prosecution departments must be radically improved.