PHILIP ETALE: Uhuru can leave a great legacy only if he engages low gear

We have two years remaining into the last term of President Uhuru Kenyatta. A lot is currently happening, from rearrangements in parliamentary leadership to the long-awaited reshuffle in the Executive.

After the removal of the Senator for Elgeyo Marakwet Mr. Kipchumba Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Ms. Susan Kihika from the positions of the Majority Leader and Majority Whip in the Senate respectively, much is expected from their replacements.

With the Speaker of the Senate Mr. Ken Lusaka looking shaky and seemingly overwhelmed by the numerous frivolous points of order from Senators allied to the Tangatanga wing of the ruling Jubilee party, the new Majority Leader Mr. Samuel Poghisio, KANU’s Senator for West Pokot County and his Majority Chief Whip Mr. Irungu Kang’ata, the Senator for Murang’a County are taking longer to settle into their positions.

The duo is soft-spoken. Although Poghisio is a seasoned politician who has served in Parliament for many years, having been elected in late 1980s and lost his seat after a disciplinary case against him was determined by the then powerful KANU disciplinary seat, he postures himself as a man who wants to unite the house for a common goal.

He speaks less and seems to listen more. Even when there is a storm in the house, he sits pensively, following the proceedings in the Senate. On the other hand, Mr. Kang’ata, a lover of reggae music, presents himself as a soft-spoken fellow. Even when cornered with tough questions and innuendos from Mr. Murkomen, Ms. Kihika and Mr. Aaron Cheruiyot of Kericho, he responds like a head boy in the head master’s office.

There have been changes in the Standing Committees and the two Sessional Committees of the Senate. The same applies to the National Assembly. The sacking of longest-serving Majority Leader Mr. Aden Duale, the Majority Chief Whip Mr. Benjamin Njomo Washiali and his deputy Ms. Cecily Mbarire is a clear indicator that President Uhuru Kenyatta is determined to have his legislative agenda sail through with ease.

Ms. Mbarire is one lucky politician. She has been nominated twice and elected twice as a Member of Parliament. She is serving her fourth term in Parliament. She has the experience on parliamentary issues but, her recent political alignment cost her the leadership role in the National Assembly.

I feel president Uhuru’s predicament. He is into his seventh year in power. He has only two years left to do something he will be remembered for. His predecessor left a rich legacy of infrastructural development, universal free primary education and a blossoming economy among others.

As the fourth President of Kenya, Mr. Kenyatta knows pretty well he will be leaving the office younger than his predecessors did and that he would want to be remembered for something tangible and visible.

He knows that he wasted his first term, perhaps trying to admire the flare and grandiosity that comes with the Presidency and that it is time he did something memorable for Kenyans.

Personally, I feel President Kenyatta can use the remaining period of time to build his legacy as the Fourth President of Kenya. This can only happen if he puts his feet on the ground and become a hands-on person. Listen and talk less. If he becomes a good listener, he will succeed.


The writer is the Director of Communications of the ODM Party.


Twitter @Etalephilip