Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why I will not vie for presidency just yet

Sunday Nation 29 April 2012

Every ambitious man likes to believe that some citizens, even if only in their dreams, have wondered why he has not “thrown his hat into the ring”, to use parlance that is becoming peculiarly Kenyan.
Today I explain why this should not apply to me. First, I will not run to be president of a country of sore losers.

I cannot countenance participating in an election in which all the candidates believe that there is only one outcome, their victory, and that their opponents cannot win unless foul play is involved. It would be impossible for me to share a platform with hypocrites who mouth democratic platitudes by day and plan war by night, in the event that they lose the election.

No values

Second, I will not vie to be president of a country whose voters have no values or self-respect.
I would not want my campaign’s main preoccupation to be how many coins to carry to a rally in some remote part of the country in order to satisfy some voters’ greed.

I cannot pretend to be addressing the concerns of potential voters while in reality I am sizing them up and deciding how many shillings they are worth. I would literally choke if I had to address a crowd of “supporters” who are in reality armed robbers waiting to collect their loot at the end of my enlightened speech.

The rule of law

Third, I will not waste my time struggling to be the president of a country that does not respect the rule of law. In this country, as long as something makes sense to one, it is the right and lawful thing to do, even if the law says otherwise.

I was recently educated by a friend of mine who possesses a legal education that systems of law are shifting globally, from the law as it is written to the “law of the people”. In other words, whatever the people want is legal and proper, no matter what is written in the law books.

Fourth, I will not vie to be president of a country that has never had a president in the first place, if modern historians are to be believed. According to popular history today, all our presidents have been ethnic jingoists whose tribes came before service to the nation.

This perception persists despite glaring evidence of poverty and deprivation in these men’s political backyards, and the knowledge that even within these ethnic cabals, there was a class division that at the highest levels cross-pollinated with other tribal elites in order to keep the majority in a state of want.

Finally, I will not be president of a nation of cowards who are afraid to speak their minds. I have sat in many political discussions, and whenever people think that the group is ethno-politically homogenous, they engage in such bigoted talk that one is left thinking that should the “enemy” be spotted at that moment, a bloodbath will surely erupt. These same individuals become as meek as lambs when the composition of the group changes to include the so-called “enemy”.

Ethnic other

We blame our leaders and the ethnic “other” for all our tribulations, when indeed the ordinary Kenyan is the author of most of his misfortunes. There will be no meaningful change in Kenya unless these issues are addressed, by the citizens themselves.

Dr Lukoye Atwoli is secretary, Kenya Psychiatric Association and lecturer, Moi University’s school of medicine


  1. Nice one Atwoli...Allow me to share cos we have same situation in Nigeria. Adewuya

  2. Dis is a product of a fertile mind.Apt,illuminating & penetrating.It gives u something 2 think about.


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