Vice-President’s servant leadership shines in Parliament and beyond

American ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger would not know servant leadership if it bit him in the left armpit.

The diplomatic cables released by whistleblower WikiLeaks this week reveal that the American envoy was unable to appreciate Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s well-won reputation as an intellectual heavyweight, a first-order altruist and a man of principle.

Never the man to bad-mouth fellow leaders, the Vice-President is always diplomatic in his politics and would never be caught dead dishing the dirt on President Kibaki or anyone else.

As a great patriot and believer in Kenya’s sovereignty, Mr Musyoka would never wish that former US President George W. Bush to bully President Kibaki into stepping down. After all, has he not been single-handedly reclaiming Kenya’s sovereignty since the international community took it away in 2008?

As a committed servant leader, Mr Musyoka is an honest broker. He it was that insisted on keeping the lines of dialogue open when the church leadership wanted to reject the new Constitution at the referendum. Thanks to his persuasive skills, the clergy have not cursed the Constitution or refused to obey it.

Always eager to take on challenging assignments, he has embraced the salvation of all Kenyans likely to face trial in a foreign land. Using public diplomacy to intervene for those likely to be charged at the International Criminal Court and prayers for Al-Amin Kimathi who has been in detention in Uganda since September, the servant leader seeks justice for all.

With his talents, it was disheartening, therefore, when for a full year the VP was denied his birthright as Leader of Government Business in Parliament when there was important work to be done.

Since he is easy on the eye, dresses the part and looks like a trillion shillings, Members of Parliament would pass laws to be in his good books because they know he is going places.

His natural, jet-black hair and good looks complete with a non-twitching moustache so that when he speaks, no one can tell what side of the mouth he is working, relax MPs and enables them to do their work in record time.

In the six months he has been Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr Musyoka has put to shame all those who frustrated his ascendancy to the job a year earlier. His suaveness, hard work and silver tongue have seen a whopping 10 Bills introduced in the august House, and five of them passed.

Besides pushing Bills with efficiency, Mr Musyoka is keenly aware that all work and no play makes MPs dull. His ability to read the mood of the House when it was recalled early in January saw it sent away on recess after 24 hours because he knew that putting any business before MPs at the time would just weary them. He withheld whatever business he wanted to present to Parliament until the MPs were in a better mood.

As soon as they returned, refreshed and rested, they passed the Judicial Service Commission and the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bills. As Parliament took another recess this week, Mr Musyoka knew better than to let his legal education get in the way of his politics.

With MPs tired as they were, it was better to let the Commission on Revenue Allocation operate without passing a law to regulate its work.

Devoting his life to preparing his impromptu speeches, the Vice-President never utters a word out of turn. In a very short time, Mr Musyoka has managed to secure the solid support of a majority of MPs to enforce the government’s will, as demonstrated by his intention to challenge the recent Speaker’s ruling.

At this rate, and with the Vice-President’s servant leadership, the 16 laws that must be passed by August to implement the constitution will be on the statute books long before deadline.

Reworking the existing laws on citizenship, the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission, ethics and anti-corruption will be a walk in the park.

Under the Vice-President’s servant leadership, Parliament will establish the independent elections and boundaries commission and fix all the electoral laws, the management of political parties and define how the electorate can recall MPs.

Mr Musyoka will persuade Parliament to make a law on how the President’s power of mercy is to be exercised, the system of courts and how judicial officers are to be removed from office.

He will round it off with laws setting up the office of Speaker of the County Assembly, the contingencies fund and creating urban areas and cities as well as regulating loans guaranteed by the national government.

As an ardent supporter of the Constitution before its passage and promulgation, Mr Musyoka is the right person to lead Parliament in passing the laws to implement it.