Hospitals are not always the best place to be but over the few days, I have been pondering over an issue that just refuses to go away. This is about Mt Kenya leadership.
The region has become an altar where many a career is sacrificed. 25 years ago, we raised whatever money we could to send a colleague and friend, then Nanyuki touts Mwangi Kiunjuri to parliament to represent the great people of Laikipia East.
A quarter of a century later, the self-made Mwangi Kiunjuri has gone back to where he was 25 years ago- He will be vying to be Laikipia East MP next year.
One of the only two Cabinet Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta had the guts to fire throughout his 10 years in power, the self-made Kiunjuri is back to the Laikipia ashes where he rose from.
He is not alone. Gitobu Imanyara has been in and out of hospital bed out of complications arising from Nyayo torture Chambers.
Martha Karua is struggling to raise her head in a crowded crowd. Paul Muite’s political career withered like a failed crop before harvest. We are experts of as we say in French, Kuringa ikiuma irima.
Compare with other regions. Anyang Nyongo and James Orengo are still going strong even when Raila Odinga had all the powers he needed to vanquish them into smithereens.
They now co-exist in leadership alongside youthful leaders like John Mbadi and Edwin Sifuna. Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi have weathered all Storms and they have strong, experienced hands at the national negotiating table.
Other than Jomo Kenyatta, the only other Mt Kenya leader who let leaders grow was Mwai Kibaki.
He prepared Uhuru Kenyatta for leadership first by appointing him Deputy Prime Minister then Minister for Finance in quick succession.
As a matter of fact, in the last 3 years of Kibaki administration, he gave Uhuru a blank cheque to appoint 3 Ministers- Katoo ole Metito, Eugene Wamalwa, and Njeru Githae. That’s the last time someone from our region was deliberately prepared for leadership.
From hence, even the self-made ones like Kiunjuri are hit on the head like a dog that has eaten 30 Cents Mandazis. Others have taken the cue.
They have learned that it is fashionable to finish authentic and experienced Mt Kenya leaders. Who will bear the long-term cost of all this? The region will become uncompetitive over time and the future generations will lose self-esteem and will be a pale shadow of the past generations.
As the fruit continues to fall farther from the tree, so shall be the dreams of our forefathers. Thaaaai !