A few days ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta made more than 300 new appointments to almost 80 parastatals. Instead of a hearty clap and congratulatory messages for the creation of hundreds of jobs, he has received wild jeers and a hot backlash from many young Kenyans.
You don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that the president must have expected this unfavourable reaction from our ‘corded’ brothers and sisters. To them, the president is almost always wrong. But, I doubt the president foresaw trouble in his own backyard. His supporters are also crying foul.
Many feel that the influential positions in Kenya are not changing hands. The top jobs are reserved for the who’s who and their relations. Wives, children and siblings are reaping when they did not sow.
Interestingly, Uhuru has even demonstrated that social affiliations can supersede political differences. How else can one explain the appointment of Wenwa Odinga to the Kenya Research Institute Board? Isn’t Wenwa Raila Odinga’s sister? Aren’t we talking about the same Raila who is thought to be Uhuru’s political arch enemy? This one must have thrown Uhuru’s supporters off guard – some of them still believe that Raila implicated Uhuru in the ICC cases.
In another perturbing twist, former president Mwai Kibaki, whose second term in office triggered the post-election violence, has also received some good news. His daughter Judy Kibaki has been appointed to the Kenya Investment Authority.
I also hear that there are now about five Nyachaes holding such positions in Kenya. And, is it true that Uhuru borrowed a certain list of politically correct people from former president Moi, one which was apparently composed decades ago?
Clearly, these people eat from the same plate and sleep on the same bed. And Kenyans are livid because of this realization.
#SenduhuruHome was trending on Twitter yesterday: “we elected youthful leaders with old-age mentality,” tweeted @Sadamgooner.
A new Kenya?
Kenya’s PEV was fought along tribal lines and many have wondered if we can ever rise above our tribal inclinations. Analysts suggest that the peace Kenya now enjoys was born of a political marriage between Uhuru and his deputy, William Ruto. And as Kenyans keenly follow the proceedings at the ICC, they secretly ponder over the fact that Uhuru’s case is dead while Ruto’s is ongoing.
But even as Uhuru continues to ensure that political and economic power remains in the hands of the same people, his actions seem to be having an ‘unintended consequence.’ Unknowingly, Uhuru is uniting young Kenyans against nepotism and the chronic control of political power that has dominated Kenya since independence.
Should Uhuru keep at this, we might just root out tribalism and get to the heart of the matter: poor leadership. Remember, 2017 is just around the corner.