Is being “cool” all it takes to be president in Kenya?
|Kenyans deserve more than a “cool” president|
A few weeks ago while attending an African Politics bloggers conference in Nairobi, I met up with two fellow bloggers from Malawi and Zambia at the airport, they were just coming in for the same conference as well. As we waited for the hotel shuttle to come pick us up we chatted a bit about the politics situation in Africa – from President Sata’s health to Uhuru’s case at the ICC.
Jimmy Kainja from Malawi who like me is both a blogger and a journalist ( a lecturer as well) was telling Bruce and I how Kenya seems to have a vibrant president. He was referring to tweets he saw in his timeline a day earlier about Uhuru handing over power to his deputy for a couple of hours as he went to The Hague to deal with “personal issues.”
Then Bruce (our Zambian counterpart) went on about how Kenya has a president who is vibrant on social media and who can generally be described as a down to earth person – sentiments I totally agree with.
I think Kenya has the most accessible president in the whole world. At times I think Uhuru even forgets that he is president and decides to just have a ball, which is not in any way a bad thing.
Who wouldn’t want to see their president enjoy a good laugh?
Then when he goes to functions and start taking selfies with random people or when he invites musicians over to statehouse – man that is my kinda president! I wouldn’t like a president I cannot relate to and that is probably why I would never vote for anybody above 60 years of age – that’s just me.
If we were to rate Uhuru Kenyatta based on how sociable he is then he would probably be the best president in the whole world!
Truth is come 2017 when his first term in office expires we will be rating him based on performance in key areas that we feel need to be addressed.
It is indeed fun to see the president out there dressed in full military regalia – we all love the combat as a fashion statement but in the face of raging insecurity we would rather see our Commander in Chief ensuring that our borders are safe and that no terrorist get into the country to harm innocent citizens.
The sense of security that is synonymous with the uniform would make more sense when it can be felt by the residents of Kapedo in Turakana County, residents of Moyale and every other part of this country where innocent citizens cannot move on with their lives because of fear of attacks by ragtag militia. Yes, this security should move from instagram and other social media platforms to real action on the ground.
Cost of living
I do not disagree with Bruce Choome or Jimmy Kainja on what they think about our president and our democracy, but all those twitpics and instagram photos do not put food on Kenyans’ tables. Our economy is in shambles.
The cost of living is getting higher and higher everyday, the shilling is at an all time low currently trading against major world currencies at rates we last saw in 2011 clearly indicating the imbalance of trade.
If selfies would fix our economy then Mr. President is definitely on the right track.
How long will this last?
If there is one thing the president is doing right then that thing is PR – I think everyone in his communications department deserves a raise!
But every trained PR or communications professional will tell you that however good the PR Machinery is, if it is not backed up with a good product then it is all a waste of time.
When Kenyan police officers are no longer able to even protect themselves let alone members of the public, when terrorists have the nerve to stage attacks on military barracks, when Kenyan youth cannot get meaningful employment, when putting food on the table becomes impossible then “selfies” will become the most loathed word in Kenya.
It is time the president put half as much the efforts he puts in looking cool into delivering services that Kenyans elected him for, otherwise this popularity that he currently enjoys will fade as soon as it came.
Follow me on twitter @IamOminde
We love your feedback, take a minute and let us know what you think about President Kenyatta in the comments section.