Dear Mr Boniface Mwangi,
First, let me say I was filled with mixed feelings when I recently received a copy of a bulk email message from you or possibly your team declaring your interest in running for the Starehe Member of Parliament seat. On the one hand, I thought that it would be good for a man like you to go to the August house (not sure why it is called that) to speak for the people. ‘Tumechoka! LazimaTusikizwe! RohoJuu!’ you said in your email urging ‘all Kenyans to register to vote in large numbers. BAD LEADERS ARE ELECTED BY GOOD CITIZENS WHO DO NOT VOTE. Refusing to vote is NOT COOL. Mass voter registration started on 16th January and continues till 15th February 2017.’
It reminds me of Juliani’s ‘Kama si Sisi’ campaign; but- yes there is a BUT- on the other hand I am neither convinced about the timing nor the promise of change that you are offering to Kenyans and the people of Starehe constituency. I am confident that you will be elected into office as MP and you will stay true to your principles. Here are my doubts on the impact of your good intentions:
- Your move to take a pay cut will not change the law that grants big salaries and benefits to the other law makers. It’s business as usual- remember the famous ‘if your are feeling sufficiently philanthropic…’ statement. Also there are many public officers who do not need that salary to run their lives and a pay cut is nothing to shout over.
- Bodyguards are assigned to protect the public office bearer. It is therefore a negligent act to put your life at risk by choosing not to have a bodyguard/ bodyguards in the name of staying connected to the people and some may interprete as false humility. You are better off safe and serving you people ‘mheshimiwa mtarajiwa.‘
- Democracies are ruled by numbers. You have not demonstrated ahead of time how you plan to navigate the national and county assemblies to make a difference in your constituency and in the nation as a whole. I assure you that running for public office in and of itself is not a superhuman stunt, there are thousands of unsung heroes who continue to serve this nation whole heartedly as elected officials and civil servants.
On the issue of timing, 2017 and 2022 elections mark transitional terms in government from what we knew to what the current constitution promises therefore a lot of mishaps and aha-moments will emanate from the leaders serving in public office. My two cents is for you to run with the national platform you have with Pawa 254 until the movement is of age, producing civil rights warriors and true champions of democracy. Your legacy is in the service you continue to render to Kenyans behind the scenes so as to secure the nation’s future.
It is too early to pass-on the baton as an activist and leader of a movement at infancy. Tumechoka! lazima tusikizwe! RohoJuu is a national call that you can triumphantly champion to success in your current status as the movement’s leader. Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahathma Gandhi, and in the continent Desmond Tutu, Harry Thuku, Wangari Maathai and many African greats remain examples of activist leaders that continue to fight for a better world today.
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.- Desmond Tutu.