Why the electorate find it hard to trust Nasa principals
There has been a lot of talk lately about “fixing” this country. This isn’t bad at all because we face a host of challenges that need serious people to offer workable solutions. Poverty still ravages many in our midst. Lack of jobs is an issue we grapple with every other time. Then we have corruption and ethnic-based politics that seem to defy every solution.
Therefore, when we hear NASA talk about fixing this country, it ought to be good news to Kenyans. However, pause for a minute and ask yourself whether Moses Wetang’ula, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and yes Raila Odinga, have what it takes to solve these problems. I have a lot of reservations myself borne out of the fact that these individuals have had ample opportunities to do precisely that in the past but failed miserably to do so.
Wetang’ula has been a minister for donkey years, yet you can’t point a finger at one solid achievement in his tour of government duty. This explains why you will never hear him talk of his record — he only dwells on fantasy about fixing this country. His baseless loft dream would thus qualify to be the stuff of a comedy show were we not dealing with a matter that has far-reaching ramifications on the destiny of our country.
The narratives of Kalonzo and Musalia leadership are even more compelling in their hopelessness. Both have not only held every government docket you can think of, they have been vice presidents. To be VP is no joke. You are just one step to State House.
Can the duo tell Kenyans what they have done for all those years they have held such influential positions? If they never did anything worth talking about with the immense powers bestowed upon them by these powerful positions, how can Kenyans trust them to deliver on anything for them going forward? They keep regaling us with banal tales on the extent to which this country has been run down over the years, yet they have been part and parcel of the system. Theirs is a self-righteousness that takes dishonesty to a whole new level.
For Raila, at least he has played a major role in the institution of democratic reforms. Indeed his name has already entered the history books having made personal sacrifices to expand civil liberties and freedoms. And generally, his credentials as an activist and in keeping the government of the day on toes are almost impeccable.
But here is the catch. Although few would deny Raila’s illustrious record as a reformist, serious and understandable questions have been raised regarding his acumen in running government affairs. These concerns are underpinned by the fact that his development record as Prime Minister did not live up to the expectations of Kenyans.
Yet he was literally running half of the government equipped with massive resources. His side of the Grand Coalition Government boasted half of the Cabinet portfolios including such crucial ministries as Lands and Transport. Who can tell us what James Orengo, Raila’s confidant, achieved in the Ministry of Lands? Even anyone overly generous with his record would be hard-pressed to even mention a single achievement.
Indeed what Kenyans know more about Raila and his brigade was incessant gripes that they were not getting adequate recognition as top government officials. Nusu mkate and nusu mkeka neatly sum up the inability of Raila to organise his troops and whip them into rolling up their sleeves and tightening their belts in the service of wananchi. To them government positions were about a posh office and other assortment of frills as well as trappings of power.
Although the Nasa flagbearer likes casting himself as an ant-graft crusader, as PM his fight against the vice was muted. In fact there were claims perpetrators of corruption were right inside his office.
Besides, over the recent past, Raila has been known to rush to the defence of his allies even when the Auditor General reports unequivocably implicate them in misuse of public resources. This has led to a growing perception that his fight against corruption is double-faced.
The Grand Coalition Government gave Raila a golden chance to implement or even lay a foundation for his vision for the country. What did he do with it? He spectacularly squandered it. This is why his campaigns are not based on a track record but are anchored on a fictitious Joshua and unreaslitic heavenly promise of Canaan.
It is not surprising therefore that Nasa’s promises ahead of the August 8 polls fell on deaf ears. Even if those pledges had been ingeniously crafted and nicely packaged, which were not, they would still not have resonated with the electorate. And they will not on October 17.
By Kizito Temba
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