Leadership, News

Here Are The Five Fights That Will Endear Our MPs To The Voter

I would like to con­grat­u­late our Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment for the excel­lent show of pas­sion that they waged as they exchanged angry words, blows, and water bot­tles in the Nation­al Assem­bly dur­ing the recent debate on the Polit­i­cal Par­ties (Amend­ment) Bill. The nor­mal prac­tice after such an episode is to con­demn with the strongest terms because the par­lia­ment is an august house, the most hon­or­able space. As such, I wish to clar­i­fy that I am acclaim­ing their show of pas­sion and not the fight or rea­son for their fight. Now that we real­ize that we do not need to use a ‘pas­sionometer’ to appre­ci­ate their desire to fix nation­al issues, I sug­gest that they chan­nel this pas­sion and fight to deliv­er the fol­low­ing five major solu­tions that will endear them to the electorate.

The first fight is for their own rep­u­ta­tion. It is in bad shape! In 2021, a report by Afro­barom­e­ter, a Pan-African research net­work, revealed that Kenyans per­ceived half of their leg­is­la­tors as cor­rupt. This per­cep­tion was lent more cre­dence when an MP from Cen­tral Kenya told BBC that he had received a bribe of Shs100,000 to back the appoint­ment of the major­i­ty leader. He fur­ther con­firmed that such bribes were com­mon. Although only a few of them may be guilty as charged, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. Friends, if you have to exchange angry words, blows and throw bot­tles at each oth­er to deal with this shame, then go ahead, we may excuse you someday.

The sec­ond fight that our MPs must wage is for agri­cul­ture. We need to dras­ti­cal­ly expand the mar­ket reach of our agri­cul­tur­al prod­ucts which accounts for more than 20% of our GDP and sup­ports approx­i­mate­ly 75 per­cent of our labor force. We must take Judi­cial, Leg­isla­tive, and Exec­u­tive action to mul­ti­ply the cur­rent 600,000 small­hold­er farm­ers in Kenya and increase their rev­enue impressively. 

The Amer­i­can Food Chain KFC recent­ly revealed that they don’t source pota­toes from local farm­ers. While they may be at fault, it is also incum­bent on our lead­ers to infuse glob­al stan­dards into our farms so that our agri­cul­tur­al pro­duce can sell com­pet­i­tive­ly on the glob­al stage for the good of Kenyans. If this is a rea­son for a real fight, let our leg­is­la­tors fight on.

The third fight that our Leg­is­la­tors must pas­sion­ate­ly wage is for local man­u­fac­tur­ing. Vision 2030 seeks to employ local man­u­fac­tur­ing as means of cre­at­ing employ­ment and wealth. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, our own lead­ers some­times sab­o­tage local man­u­fac­tur­ing when they pass leg­is­la­tion that harms tenets of localization. 

As long as we con­tin­ue import­ing what we can build capac­i­ty to man­u­fac­ture local­ly, we will keep shoot­ing our­selves in the foot. Accord­ing to the Kenya Nation­al Bureau of Sta­tis­tics, the total val­ue of imports from Jan­u­ary to Octo­ber 2021 was Sh1.719 tril­lion against total exports val­ued at Sh608.4 bil­lion. This trade deficit is a mam­moth wake-up call for our lead­ers to fight tooth and nail for local man­u­fac­tur­ing to take root in the country. 

The fourth fight that our lead­ers must wage is for health­care. A healthy nation is a wealthy nation. In 2021, Human Rights Watch revealed that Kenya has 58,000 reg­is­tered nurs­es, 12,000 reg­is­tered doc­tors, and 14,000 clin­i­cal offi­cers which are far below the World Health Organization’s rec­om­mend­ed doc­tor to the patient ratio of 1:1000. Although sev­er­al bold steps have been tak­en our lead­ers must fight tire­less­ly to fur­ther improve our health­care. If such a fight neces­si­tates the exchange of bit­ter words, blows, and water bot­tles so are it. 

The fifth fight that our lead­ers must wage is for peace and uni­ty. Our Con­sti­tu­tion right­ly states that we, the peo­ple of Kenya are, ‘deter­mined to live in peace and uni­ty as one indi­vis­i­ble sov­er­eign nation.’ Fur­ther to this, Arti­cle 10 lists nation­al uni­ty as one of our nation­al values. 

We must hold account­able any leader whose words or actions con­tra­dict nation­al uni­ty. Even when we dis­agree vehe­ment­ly, we must not do so in a man­ner that breeds dis­uni­ty. This is where our leg­is­la­tors may appre­ci­ate that the exchange of words, bot­tles, and blows may nev­er work because we the elec­torate expect them to unite our Nation by think­ing and act­ing green.

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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