When choosing/evaluating a leader, we all have attributes/ traits that we consider important when selecting them. During our weekly coffee bar Tuesday session, we discussed some of the common attributes that most of us look for when electing a leader. Not only do the attributes apply to political leaders but also to our homes, chamas, churches, organizations and other different spaces.
Participants pointed out that there’s research done that indicates a good record, endorsement by someone popular, never been involved in corruption and gender are some of the most common attributes that they look for when evaluating and selecting their preferred leaders.
“A good track record means that you will be able to control public office/ funds.” Participant said
A good track record is an attribute that was supported by majority of the participants. Your track record portrays who you are and what you can be able to become in future in case you get power. With experience from elected leaders, someone with bad or tinted record has a high chance of not bringing change to the community.
Corruption is a still serious threat to poverty, peace and democracy. Looking at the leaders who have graft cases, most of them are yet to be found guilty and also most believe it’s a political fight. This makes it hard for many people to make a choice considering they are not found guilty at the court of law. However, this was pointed as a crucial attribute when evaluating a leader.
The Constitution Of Kenya in article 27(8) requires the state to take legislative and other measures to implement the principle of having not more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies of the same gender. Ten years later, this is yet to be enacted. Representation of women in Kenya’s Parliament has been and remains minimal. Majority of the participants also noted that gender is something they look for when evaluating leaders. Others felt that women should be at the same level as women and the ground should be the same.
Ethnicity remains a problem in Kenya. We may not agree that politics of this country are driven by ethnicity. Participants also felt that they would rather vote for some who comes from the same ethnic group as theirs than voting someone from another ethnic group. Others also felt that they would support someone who comes from another ethnic group. Some researches indicates that ethnic divisions can have adverse effects on the economic and political stability of Kenya. However, ethnic divisions may be driven by factors other than ethnic bias alone.
One thing that stood out during the discussion is the fact that we only have two tribes in Kenya which are rich and poor. This created room for reflection on how the inequalities works.
Don’t for someone because they have been endorsed by a public figure, don’t vote for someone who has tinted track record, don’t vote for someone because they come from your tribe but vote for someone based on their ideologies, manifestos, what they stand for, their track record and also their networks. Considering that young people are the majority in this country, they can be able to bring any change that’s need. Additionally, women are also the majority meaning they can be able to support one of their own in any political seat. See you on Tuesday!