Rich leaders can’t lecture us about poor leadership

empty pockets

A man showing his empty pockets. Poor leadership should automatically translate to poor pockets.


Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • There are many reasons why Kenyans pay taxes through their noses.
  • Poor leadership should automatically translate to poor pockets.


There is something wrong in this country which is beginning to worry everyone. When we vote for leaders every five years, we do so knowing that those we put in high office will always come through during our low moments.

It should have come as an automatic prerogative, but in this era of manual counting of votes the slow understanding has always ended on the day they were declared winners.

There are many reasons why Kenyans pay taxes through their noses. While it’s true the fear of the Kenya Revenue Authority is the beginning of wisdom, it is also not fiction that Kenyans expect commensurate public service instead of lip service.

 Anyone in a position of leadership, whether they belong to the deep or shallow state, cannot complain of poor leadership but keep quiet when they get rich from our taxes.

Poor pockets

Poor leadership should automatically translate to poor pockets. But we have been giving our leaders the grace period to turn things around because this isn’t the time to lay off anyone — as we wouldn’t want to see the child of a leader homeless after all those years of showing off on Instagram how they’re putting public money into private use.

Kenyans are in a depressingly bad shape. We have prayed enough times for our leaders to change, but nothing will ever move them, even if we beseeched the late Diego Maradona not to return the Hand of God and leave it with us.

There’s a reason we elected leaders vying on political parties with logos that inspired hope: oranges to boost our immunity; clasped hands to be with Kenyans in sickness and in health; umbrellas to offer Covid insurance cover; lanterns to show us the way; a key to unlock our nascent potential; a rose flower to comfort us when we are feeling low, a rising sun for a new dawn; a broom to sweep our problems away; an olive branch for peaceful coexistence; a cockerel to wake us up from slumber; a lion to roar us back into lynchpin status.

Had we known, we would have elected leaders whose party symbols embodied that doomsday expectation: an earthquake to bring the country down to its knees; virus particles to make us drop like flies; a knife to dagger us in the back; the Instagram logo to show off their undeserved flashy lifestyle; or a bottle of tears for the quality of service delivery.

We might have fallen for the tricks politicians play, but this is not the time to lay blame on the victims of poor leadership, or have leaders who run away from social media when Kenyans express their frustrations at the quality of leadership they are receiving.

We know our leaders are currently busy discovering new ways of sprinkling table salt on election promises, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of receiving feedback straight from the frustrated source; and meeting halfway those unable to explain to their saliva why there’s no food to accompany it down the throat.

The Jubilee government campaigned on a platform of digital governance, if there’s an election promise that must mean something to them, it has to be this feedback mechanism through channels that government bureaucrats cannot filter, because there will be no better means to feel the pulse of this nation than to read the blood pressure monitor straight from the Twitter Triage.

Anyone who claims to love reggae music must also love the message of emancipation that comes with the revolutionary genre.

Had they wanted a choir, they would have chosen a gospel tune as their signature and there would have been no need to collect signatures — as everyone’s hand belongs to God.

gabriel.oguda@gmail.com

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