Sunday, July 27, 2014


If I had not been a politician and an MP, I probably would not be able to understand the mentality and thoughts now in the minds of Coast MPs as they rattle and battle over the trivial matter of the sacking of the deputy chief whip of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) in Kenya.

As seen during these past few days, a section of legislators from my region has been throwing tantrums, shouting itself hoarse and making a fool of itself on an issue that is of no benefit at all to the residents of the Coast. Gideon Mung'aro has been CORD's deputy chief whip for more than a year. Has this position benefitted the people of the region? Has it improved the failing educational standards? Has it ameliorated poverty? Has it......?

I would have been impressed if the legislators had been agitating for something that directly benefitted the people. But fighting for a position that offers nothing but prestige and perks for the title holder is glorified absurdity.

Annoyingly, most of these noisy MPs are soundless when in the House, (some of them have not even made their maiden speeches a year and half after Parliament opened) and are only occasionally heard in the villages making all manner of blustering speeches. They do this because they know our people are ill-informed about what goes on in Nairobi.

Chest thumping at funerals, weddings and trading centres may temporarily transform these legislators into heroes - and perhaps boost their egos - but it does not make Coast people any more advantaged.

Also, if these legislators think CORD belongs to the Coast then they need to re-evaluate their thinking. We Coast people must agree that we are only guests in major political parties. We are not masters, and moving to Jubilee or to any other political grouping because some are dissatisfied with an administrative decision of another party will not make us masters.

In any case, the post of whip is an honorary title offered as a gift. Any member of the party qualifies to hold this or any other party position in Parliament. Furthermore, those chosen to hold these positions are not expected to represent their regions but the entire party membership.

In Kenya, one does not require special qualities to become a whip. We have had extremely competent whips over the past fifty years, one of them being Norman Nyagah of the Ninth Parliament; but we have also had many dunderheads. If CORD now feels that Mung'aro has not met its expectations, then it should be permitted to make changes without drama.

Finally, a whip must be a zealous, conscientious, loyal, and competent person who commands the respect of his colleagues. He must be influential and charismatic enough to reach out, not only to his party colleagues, but to others across the isle for support (and votes) on legislative matters that are of interest to the party. A whip is not a flower girl who sits and cheekily smiles at passersby, but one who is constantly on the move, in isles and in parliamentary offices.

Therefore, the juvenile outbursts we are seeing coming from the Indian Ocean shores are demeaning and embarrassing especially to residents who yearn for mature and responsible leadership. That is why I say with conviction that the mentality of some of our leaders is way off the mark.

If these legislators love CORD so much, why don't they stick to it and stop sleeping with the "enemy?" And if they hate it so much as is evident, then why don't they resign and seek fresh mandate? They don't have to wait for sacking letters.

And that is my say