June 29th 2017

Opinion / Commentaries

I am a loyal Jubilee Party leader but won't waste my vote on Mike Sonko

Sonko did nothing substantive with CDF funds when he was Makadara MP. Generosity and philanthropy does not move me so much when evaluating a public leader as their ability to manage and take care of my taxes and ensuring that I at all times get value for my public money.

By Mutinda KavembaMonday, 01 May 2017 12:23 EAT

Jubilee Party gubernatorial candidate Mike Sonko.

The middle class is agonizing that the crude thugs are replacing the refined thugs in elected public offices. The trigger being that Nairobi senator Mike Sonko won the Jubilee nominations in Nairobi County. Where were they to vote for Peter Kenneth, whom I personally campaigned and voted for?

Honestly, I am not even sure who between Sonko and incumbent governor Evans Kidero will be better for Nairobi! Kidero has proved to be a disaster with looting of public funds getting to unprecedented levels. Service delivery by the county is also at its lowest ever with the city choking from garbage in all corners. This makes me sure that Kidero can't be the solution.

The problem is that I am also aware that Sonko, my party's candidate for governor, did nothing substantive with CDF funds when he was Makadara MP. Generosity and philanthropy does not move me so much when evaluating a public leader as their ability to manage and take care of my taxes and ensuring that I at all times get value for my public money.

That is why retired President Mwai Kibaki remains my top most role model politician to date. He was clear that public service was about our taxes and that's why he repeatedly came out to urge Kenyans to dutifully pay their taxes. He revamped KRA and put the best brains to manage it and the results were there for all to see.

Our local revenue base increased three-fold when compared to the preceding regime under President Moi. Kibaki discouraged harambees for funding of public projects and instead signed into law the CDF Act that took money to the grassroots to fund public projects as identified by the public.

The massive infrastructural program initiated under President Kibaki and which is setting the momentum for our future economic growth was as a result of well thought out planning as captured in Vision 2030 and such cannot be achieved by any act of charity or philanthropy by any individual.

Thus the solution according to me is not in the middle class agonizing but rather in organising to get rid of both the crude and refined thugs from public office and replace them with hard-working, competent Kenyans of good character and whose track record shows a genuine care and concern for public good and welfare.

Part of the problem in our politics is the lack of active participation by the middle class! It's time for the middle class to wake up and proactively take up their civic duties. One of them and which is very crucial is determining what type of leaders we give the mandate to oversee and manage our public resources and affairs. This is the only thing that will change the trend and trajectory our Politics is taking and which you are currently agonising about!

The writer lost his bid for senator of Nairobi in the just-concluded Jubilee Party nominations





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