By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)
Many people aspire to hold leadership positions and with the promulgation of the
constitution there is no shortage of positions that a qualified Kenyan can vie for. In
fact one can hardly throw a stone without hitting an ongoing recruitment process for
constitutionally created positions; whether its for the Attorney General, the Auditor
General and Deputy, the Judicial Vetting Board, the Independent Electoral Boundaries
Commission or any of the other 11 independent bodies to be established under the
new constitution. To add to the appointive positions, whether premature or not, there
are ongoing campaigns for the myriad of elective positions in the next general election
president, Member of Parliament, senator, governor etc.
So while our some of our current leaders seem to embroiled one corruption scandal
after the other, bicker over devolution issues, who will control what funds in the devolved
system, whether or not to pay their constitutionally sanctioned taxes, threaten chiefs
who dare to give reports of famine/drought related deaths. All the while simultaneously
careening speedily towards missing the deadline for the passage urgent bills.
Almost one year since the promulgation of the constitution, less then a year till the next
general election and in light of the ongoing establishment of constitutional bodies now
seems as good a time as any to review the qualities we expect of our leaders whether
appointed or elected.
I think that all Kenyans expect that state officers acknowledge that the authority
assigned them is a public trust that vests in the State officer the responsibility to serve
the people, rather than the power to rule. That the authority is to be exercised in a
manner that is consistent with the purposes and objects of the constitution, and in a
manner that demonstrates respect for the people and brings honour to the nation and
dignity to the office; and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office. We
also expect they abide by leadership and integrity principles of personal integrity,
competence and suitability objectivity and impartiality in decision making, not
influenced by nepotism, favouritism, other improper motives or corrupt practices;
selfless service based solely on the public interest, and accountability to the public
for decisions and actions; and commitment in service to the people. And no I didn’t
make this up this and a longer list is contained in article 73 of the constitution.
While the electorate are partly to blame for the state of affairs where leadership is
concerned we voted for them, two things are true, this is a new dispensation and things
are definitely changing, if not among the leaders then certainly among the electorate.