An open letter to all the presidential contenders in the next general election

Hello there my leaders,

Receive my warm greetings and greetings of thousands of likeminded Kenyans. Fast and foremost, allow me to congratulate you for your courage and pride to come out and declare your candidature for the presidency of this grateful nation called Kenya. My leaders, the writing of this letter has been necessitated by your recent utterance against each other across the country in your quest to solidify your so-called political bases and acquire new ones. In most of your meetings my leaders, some of the pronouncement made by yourself and your supporters does not go down well for a cohesive and united nation that Kenyans yearns for and by dipping my hands in the mucky waters of politics there is clear indication that if the same trajectory is maintained our beloved country may be divided and there will more tensions in the days ahead

My leaders, I understand as well as you do, that politics is sometimes about portraying your opponent as someone people should run away from and sometimes in the process you have used unpalatable words without regard to the effect they do to their families. Some of the words that some of you have used frequently are ule mnganga  na ule mwizi, loosely translated respectively as that witchcraft and that thief. My leaders such sentiments are what excites crowds in political rallies, at the end of the campaign period, they only help in creating division among the citizenry that you intend to lead should any one of you capture the presidency in the coming election. My request to all of you is simple: kindly do your campaigns based on values and principles that will bring hope to the citizenry, especially the young people who are more vulnerable and only need tangible steps towards their economic empowerment not rhetoric about your opponents.

The pleasantries we saw between His excellency deputy president William Ruto and Minority leader in the senate James Orengo during the 8th state of nation address by president Kenyatta despite their deeppolitical differences is what we need in this country from you leaders, as much as you may differ politically. Leaders must stand their ground even if they are alone since that is the essence of leadership.

In the words of Anny Rees Anderson an entrepreneur in her article, six years ago and I quote ‘True leaders know who they are and what they stand for, they know their values and the values they will abide by regardless of the circumstances they face’, so my leaders, the values are common determinant in leadership, lets have values and principle as we conduct our campaigns

Thanks, have a peaceful campaign period towards the next election

By Charles Ochieng, Youth and Gender Officer – Kutoka Network  

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