By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa
Headlines of outstanding warrants for fraud and forgery, questionable accumulation of wealth, and the recent road rage incident continue to haunt MP for Makadara the Honorable Mr Gideon Mbuvi Kioko aka ‘Mike Sonko’. These allegations whether true or not begs the question how political parties nominate people to run for the much coveted post of Member of Parliament. With the exception of the requirement for popularity, what are the criteria by which parties use to nominate potential MPs?
Reading the headlines on the Makadara MP one would be hard pressed to believe that any vetting process takes place at all. If there is a vetting process it must not be at all rigorous, as how would one with skeletons practically hanging out of the closet get past even the most perfunctory vetting process?
In the morass of political venality and opportunism, the old dispensation presented ample room for manipulation by allowing direct nominations and hand picking of candidates by political parties with little consultation of citizens. However lets not harp on about the past, the election has taken place and the Honorable Mr Gideon Mbuvi Kioko aka ‘Mike Sonko’ has been elected to the Makadara seat. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt – some are already calling him the peoples MP. Let’s say for arguments sake that some vetting process was carried out and indeed Mike Sonko did pass the requisite background check. Not only will we be expecting to keep the promise he made upon winning the Makadara seat i.e. ‘I will honour all the promises I made to you when I was campaigning. I will continue standing by the people of Makadara and will continue being development-conscious, my main focus still remains ridding this constituency of poverty.”
We will be expecting him, his newly elected counter parts and the already sitting MPs to adhere strictly to Chapter 6 of the new constitution, a chapter which lays down the principles for our MPs in the new constitutional order. While we do not begrudge Mr Sonko his considerable wealth, we do expect him not to ever behave in a way that creates a conflict between his personal interests and ours i.e. the public and citizens Kenya. Considering his private interest in the matatu business, we expect that he will not be participating in any deliberations and decision making about how matatus will be regulated. We are expecting that he will not receive gifts unless allowed to do so by an act of parliament and we will expect that he will hold no foreign bank accounts except in accordance with an Act of Parliament. That he will not ‘moonlight’ i.e. that he will take no other jobs, apart from the selfless service to the people of Makadara which he has already promised.
Yes the burden is heavy but that is the price that MPs have to pay, ‘to whom much is given much will be expected’. The authority that we the citizens give our MPs is an authority they exercise as a public trust, it is an authority given with the demand that they perform their function to the highest standard. The standards and principles set out for our leaders in Chapter 6 of the new law are essential to the fight against corruption and a necessary ingredient for instituting a new democratic order in Kenya. We expect our elected leaders to “bring honour to the nation and dignity to the office” and be accountable for their actions.
Over to you Honorable Mr Gideon Mbuvi Kioko, MP for Makadara or Mike Sonko if you would prefer.