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Good governance: Integrity vs popularity

19 December 2012, 09:55 Paul Orodi

What is integrity?

This word has of late caused a stir among Kenyans both learned and not so learned. Since the promulgation of the constitution, everything about leadership has centred on integrity and ethics. Well, I don’t blame anyone for this since it only shows their great concern for good governance.

The problem that came with the inclusion of this very popular chapter six was that there was no clarity of how the integrity was to be determined. As I write this column I feel obliged to express my own personal views. However, you need be reminded that my personal views are not paramount and actually have very little in determining what the public thinks.

It is barely 72 hours since the Commission on Administrative Justice considered two of the most popular Nairobi MPs unfit to vie for any public office. This was backed with the fact that they have not carried themselves in a manner to portray a good image of that very office they hold.

Whether this is legit or not is up to certain bodies like the judiciary and many other new commissions to determine. Even though we have this bodies that shape the governance of this country, we as citizens also need to clear our heads off all the laxity in judgment and determine who are fit and who aren’t.

Some months ago we saw how Ferdinand Waititu made utterances that clearly did not provoke peace and reconciliation. I have not convicted him of hate speech because that is not my job description neither is it my responsibility but as a Kenyan I have the right to express concern on what my leaders utter or do in public. Although the matter is still in court, it is very clear that the Member of Parliament for Embakasi has questionable character. Beyond the resent remarks made by Waititu, he also has been caught on camera a number of times inciting residents to take action into their own hands. This is not the style of leadership we need after what we witnessed in 2007 and 2008 post election violence.

Also considered unfit with the Member of Parliament for Embakasi was Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi, the Member of Parliament for Makadara. Being first time MP in the house, he was expected to keep a low profile and only concern himself with pushing agendas for his constituents. However, he went overboard with his various antiques in the public limelight. His troubles started with his name appearing in the drug barons list that was presented to the house by the Ministry of Internal Security. As if not enough, cases came crawling after him ranging from land issues to fraud activities and escape from prison. All this he managed to evade but still could not keep his act together.

The problem with these two fellows is that they do not know how to differentiate between the public eye and private eye. For a whole MP to unclamp his vehicle and drive away with the clamp that automatically belongs to the City Council is obviously a show of utmost disrespect to authority however high in a position you may be.

Laws are for every Kenyan whether a president or a peasant. We all have to follow laws and regulations to allow for order to prevail lest we fall into a state of disarray. Bodies have been set up to ensure everyone’s right is adhered to and I see no reason to beat up people who offend you or your constituents. There is no reason to punch gates and defy security detail by jumping over gates just because you are an honourable Member of Parliament.

These are my personal views and they have little in contribution to what the public thinks or decides. For me, leaders are to show the public good examples and give ideas for growth and development not fight physically and defy all laws in place. Whether they get the go ahead to vie or not, what is most important is that as Kenyans we need to give our children leaders who are role models and show respect for the law in all places. This way even the young ones will know that crime is not accommodated at whatever level.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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