For the umpteenth time, President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared that the country is tired of empty politicking and cautioned against premature election campaigns. We agree.
There is no way a country can progress when politicians are preoccupied with campaigns. It cannot be that ours is a state where political lobbying and mobilisation begin right after an election.
Pursuit of political power is not an end itself, but a means to an end. Those seeking political power should do so on the grounds that they want to make a difference; stimulate national development and better lives.
If today one was to do an audit of what the Jubilee administration has done in the past three years since it came back to power, the verdict would be damning. Few projects stand out that have been delivered. Corruption and public theft continue unabated. Living conditions have not improved.
Party leaders and members are engaged in endless battles, tearing into each other in and outside Parliament. Matters are made worse by the fact the Opposition, which naturally should provide checks, has splintered and lost direction.
It is more of a lapdog than a watchdog, leaving citizens on their own. That is why ridiculous motions now easily sail through Parliament because no strong voice exists to challenge their validity and veracity.
Arguably, President Kenyatta’s pronouncement does not match the reality of intention. Politicians in his corner are consumed every day with schemes and machinations to crush the rival wing in the party. When Opposition parties are seduced and brought to the Jubilee court, that is purely politics at play. Plots to appoint new teams to replace perceived dissenting leaders of parliamentary committees are nothing but politics.
It is not lost on anyone, for example, that before Covid-19 struck, the Building Bridges Initiative that was borne out of the Handshake between President Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga had converted itself into a movement, with its proponents and supporters holding rallies across the country in what other than in name were political campaigns.
Political temperatures rose and there were fears the outcomes of those rallies would be terribly divisive. The guns may have gone silent for now but that is just for a moment.
We see double standards and that is why we call for an honest conversation on national issues. President Kenyatta needs to lead from the front. If he wants to cool political temperatures, then he has to start by containing those in his camp who are busy with new plots every day. Our argument is that all political players must tame the rhetoric and serve the public.