Kenyans, just like other many other people all over the world are horrified when they hear, watch or read some of outrageous the things attributed to Donald Trump.
Trump has been accused of sexual harassment, assault, tax evasion, making derogatory remarks about women, outrageous racist and sexist comments. He has insulted, disparaged, and mocked everyone who dares oppose or criticize him.
Trump is the master of double speak, a pathological liar, and an expert in evading questions and diverting attention from the critical issues. He loves attention, always the ‘now showing’ in the drama of American politics. He is shallow and clueless about many of the issues dear to most Americans. To most people, except his core supporters – and they are many! , Trump is regarded as unfit and incompetent to hold office.
Ironically, as Kenyans react with shock and disgusts at some of the things Trump has been doing or saying, the list above sounds all too familiar when it comes to many of our elected leaders.We all watched a governor slap a woman in the full glare of cameras, we listened to a governor insulting women leaders, and we have witnessed countless number of MPs make hate-filled remarks about people and leaders from other ethnic communities. We have watched as cabinet secretaries, governors and other elected or appointed leaders shamelessly siphoned money from the public coffers. We have an elected leader accused of rape. We have watched ‘honourable’ leaders behaving dishonourably, we have seen lewd photos of our elected leaders in unflattering situations.
Every time we express shock and disgust at Trump’s actions, it is a reflection of our collective hypocrisy and our inability to see the irony. We fail to see the striking semblance between our leaders and Donald Trump. While we struggle to understand why Trump is so popular among a sizeable group of the US population, it is an indictment of our collective conscience since we enthusiastically cheer and support tribal warlords, hate mongers and looters of public coffers. Trump is a perfect representation of a Kenyan politician.
Kenyans must wake up to the reality that we get the leaders we deserve. As we prepare for elections in August 2017, we must be more conscious and interrogate the character, credibility and competence of the leaders we elect across all levels from the MCA, to the President. We cannot continue to vote for leaders who plunder our national resources, incite hatred, lie to us, make empty promises and reject any form of accountability. We deserve better and we must exercise the power of our votes knowing the people we elect will be in power for the next 5 years.
This article first appeared in the Daily Nation on Nov 7, 2016