#iDontBelieve: “The Power of The People vs. The People in Power”

First and foremost, a heartfelt prayer for the victims of explosion on Moi Avenue.

OK, now on to the blog.

Uhuru Diasporadical Speech
About a week plus ago Uhuru Kenyatta launched his TNA Party in what can only be described as the biggest launch of anything ever in Kenya. Seriously. He must’ve had the same budget as the Avengers movie. It was epic and quite impossible to miss.

The meat of the message he spewed out was some very inspirational, flowery and borderline purple balderdash on the importance of believing and having faith, hope and dreams. If I may, I’d like to quote him quoting someone.

“It was once said and I quote ā€œ To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.ā€ end quote. Here today we have seen a dream being unfolded, we have seen the wings of hope that can carry us into the future and beyond. This is not some grand elaborate design, no, on the contrary it is very simple and basic, it all about our dreams. We all dream, children more so, but we must now start believing in the dream in order to achieve great things.”

“Ours is a party whose engine is oiled with the dreams of every Kenyan. A party that focuses into the future by offering solutions for the problems of today and emerging challenges of tomorrow. We seek to dispel the notion that parties are founded with the vision of getting to power. The Alliance is driven by a deep desire to fully implement the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya and the spirit of achieving the national development milestones as laid down in the Vision2030 agenda. That ladies and gentlemen is what we are asking you to judge us on as we move forward.”

– Uhuru Kenyatta, in his speech “TNA: The Alliance of Believers”

The speech is linked up there and it’s really not a horrible read. I tip my hat to the copywriter behind it and the endless hours of YouTubing inspirational speeches that must’ve been put behind that. Really I do. But let me tell you what I don’t believe before I tell you what I do.

political graffiti Kenya

I don’t believe that any man who has not lived a life as an average Kenyan can feign appreciation for our plight. I don’t believe that one man can change an entire government of corrupt people unless his first executive order is to dismiss them all from their current positions. I don’t believe that any person who can chalk up a Kshs. 9 billion deficit in the budget to “computer and typographical errors” honestly cares for proper management of the country’s finances. Especially when there were more deficits to follow. I don’t believe that anyone who puts more money and words on the table than actions and deeds is really offering change and not selling a dream. I don’t believe that anyone ever accidentally got accused of genocide. Furthermore, I categorically refuse believe that any person who has been in politics for 15 years will have a change of heart given more power.

And the big one, I don’t believe in our current selection of political leaders because I don’t believe that the change that needs to happen is within the rungs of power.

I do believe that the people can make a change. I believe we know where the shoe pinches and know the pain of not even having shoes, so we know what needs to be done. I believe it is our job and our responsibility to make that happen. I believe that the buck does not stop with casting the vote, nor does it start there. I believe we need more than a dream. I believe we all need to make running this country our second job. I believe in the power of the 40 million civilians, not the 200 or so government officials seated in their 200,000/- chairs delaying change.

And much as people don’t think so, I believe in the power of our voice and our vote. Because like I have said a great many times, people will always get the leader they deserve. If we are divided and apprehensive, it reflects in our leadership. If we are greedy and tribalistic, it’ll transcend to our leadership. If we are responsible and proactive…well, then maybe that TNA speech and the forthcoming speeches from other aspirants will have some context.

Vote For Nobody Graffiti

So I believe what we need is not to “believe in a dream”; we’ve been doing that for 50 years; I think we need to start taking baby steps, graduate to larger strides and leap forward. Any leader who claims to believe that should be able to admit that the government is oversized, overpaid, under-qualified and mismanaged. Especially when what you spent on launching your party could put streetlights in every slum in the city and cut down the murder rate.

Seriously, when you’re worth more than 80% of the population put together, and you’re one person, you need to do more than make a speech to get me to believe in you. I’m more convinced by the people I see mobilizing on a daily basis, working hard, giving despite their poverty, and not only taking time to believe but putting in time to achieve our dreams.

And unless I’m grossly mistaken, it’s politicians that keep holding us back instead of pushing us forward. Give us a push and I’ll believe. Lead in action and I’ll believe your words.

Give people power and stop seeking it for yourself and I’ll believe.

Update: Jemedari – Letter to The President

23 thoughts on “#iDontBelieve: “The Power of The People vs. The People in Power”

  1. The fact that the constitution is clear on what terms a candidate should run for President and Uhuru with his lackey at Justice Ministry are still forcing him on to the ballot paper means that this is another reason why iDontBelieve in this fiasco, for that s what it is! These are the kinds of dreams that turn into nightmares!

  2. Beautiful words,reading through was like talking to myself.this is what a majority of us want,to believe in us.but we are faithless mortals here in kenya,who are too lazy to even have their own dreams,so we wait to be “dreamt for”.
    I am filled with pity for this republic!GOD HELP US!

    • Concern more than pity. I know we all have it in us to make a great nation. We work miracles on a daily basis in our personal lives. Imagine what we could do for our country given even an iota of power…

      I like to dream. I dream of revolution.

  3. Kudos on the article. Your sentiments and thoughts are respected. However, just a few pointers if we may add. First of all, The Avengers is a great movie! šŸ™‚ Since you mentioned it,its budget was roughly $220 Million. The #iBelieve Experience launch was no where near that budget, it cost less than Kshs 30 Million. How do we know, we are the ones who did it. Us, a group of young Kenyans, averaging 27 years old!
    To quote you “…I think we need to start taking baby steps, graduate to larger strides and leap forward.” We couldn’t agree more! And that’s what has happened, the first step being the launch. Why is that the first step? Because the individual, Uhuru Kenyatta chose to believe in our plan, our method of execution. He chose to do something different from what we normally see when it comes to party launches in Kenya. He chose to give us, the youth a chance in doing things differently. That in itself is a symbolic first step, a ‘baby step’ as you put it. We are not listened to, neither given an opportunity, but look what happened when we were? You yourself compared the event to The Avengers šŸ™‚
    To further quote you, “…Iā€™m more convinced by the people I see mobilizing on a daily basis, working hard, giving despite their poverty, and not only taking time to believe but putting in time to achieve our dreams…” That’s what we did with the launch and are doing now. There’s more to come, but we have taken the FIRST step, taking a chance, hoping to be given that faith and chance. It was given, and now we plan and progress. There’s more to be done in this country and for this country, but if we don’t give each other a chance, is there any harmony ongoing?

    • You planned the TNA launch???? Well, you might have had a flashy and catchy eye candy for those who are swayed by such, but you are not fooling anyone to the real issues that befalls the average Kenyan, who by the way is not that person you endorse as being the head.

      The one sad aspect that I see in the strategy employed by your party is the notion that Kenya is in troubled waters, because the so called youths are not given a chance to articulate/execute their wishes. Nothing in this world could be further than the truth than that; Kenya is still in the dark ages because we lack leaders who have vision and a utilitarian mindset. The bulk of the current leaders are a selfish lot who would see this country burn to the ground just to maintain the status quo of them plundering and diving the country for their own myopic interests. We do have old veterans who have really proved that with vision they can change a people for the better and with the same measure, we have young people who have proven that they are a worthless lot who would destroy that which is precious to this country without batting an eyelid.

      My point here is that, the only reason why that dude called UK is pegging his strategy on the youth and flowery but empty rhetoric, is because he has no vision for this country and all he wants to do is to get into power to protect the same people who have put us in the current quagmire we are in (him being at the top of that list). So, please don’t try fooling us that the problem with Kenya, is the old folks who have failed; it is because we lack people of good will and benevolent strategists.

      P/S I average that age you mention, so don’t think this is an octogenarian.

    • Glad to finally hear from someone who was behind the TNA launch, coz I have a couple of nagging questions that have been bothering me. Firstly, why spend all that money on a party launch? You could’ve spent a tenth of the amount (assuming a figure of 30M) and still have had enough money to hold a pretty decent launch, then used the balance (27M) to build homes for over 100 IDPs (assuming cost of 250k per house). It’s this kind of glitz and glamour that makes me wonder whether our leadership really understands the plight of the ordinary mwananchi. If you’re not sure who that is, it’s the person that turned up to witness the launch and had to watch proceedings from outside the “mdosi’s tent”. Which brings me to my second query. Who’s idea was it to sequester the “cream” away from the “commoner”? The impression that this created was that there’s a very clear divide between those in (or close to) power and those waiting to be “powered”, hopefully into a better life. Lastly, what possible reasons could you have for believing that getting into bed with leaders who have been in (or close to) power for donkey years, without delivering any meaningful change, will miraculously provide the light needed to illuminate the way forward for us? I so badly want to believe, but I simply can’t get around the fact that the event was patronised by people who are direct beneficiaries of the current corrupt system of governance and, as we all know, a leopard cannot change its spots.

  4. “Ours is a party whose engine is oiled with the dreams of every Kenyan..” he was raised in state house, I have doubts if he even understands remotely, the “dreams” of Kenyans, unless of course he is “dreaming” himself!!

  5. nobody is forcing you to believe, we are not interested in your idiosyncratic sycophancy based on self imposed egocentric principles whose pessimism would derail any effort towards self liberalisation.

    • I’m so sorry I forced you to deal with my misguided opinions. I really hate it when I accidentally force someone to read my thoughts.

      Seriously.

  6. Soberly put. Fact is most of our politicians cannot understand the dream of Kenya. Their dream is to rule the land. Ours is to solve all the injustices we see everyday. It’s not Uhuru’s fault that he’s worth more than half the Kenyan population put together. But the fact that he’s not done as much as he could have, says a lot.

  7. There is criticism about Uhuru that I refuse to accept as a liberal voter. I have voted for a different candidate in the two elections in which I voted, one lost one won…I refuse to accept because Uhuru was born in State House he should not lead, infant the idea of leadership in Africa was ROyal and inheritance, Democracy did not completely delete that it just said if people want it to be so let it be…..as for him having a dream for Kenyans to dream I saw ESP in Treasury….he went to school, worked as a cashier…as for the Treasury error I remember bunge passed that budget the errors were not in the substantive figures sent to ministries but in booklets that captured that info an argument parliament and experts embraced…as for being rich when did we stop being a capitalist state?

    • I’m not saying he should not lead. Just saying that if he wants me to believe in him he needs to do something more than make a speech.

      If he’s saying he relates to our dreams and ambitions he should do something to that end. Because truth be told his current reality far surpasses the average mans dream.

      Also track record wise, I venture to say that he’s either not supported or not been present to vote on the parliament bills/proposals I would have liked to see pass. And if he was then that’s what he should show us.

      At least that’s what would sway me. Actions over words. Track record over promises.

      The money and the rest is just salt in the wound

  8. My thinking….. What we need to do, is to see if it is at all possible to compile all the relevant data on the effectiveness of our so called leaders…… Come up with a matrix data sheet that shows the bills that our honourable MPs have proposed, the ones they collaborated in drafting, the ones they voted for, the ones they shot down,,,, that kind of thing.

    So that we can know how effective (or lack of) they are….. Am sure our hero here would be in the lower percentile as he is not a capable leader who would take us to Canaan as he might want to make us believe.

  9. I know i am commenting on this post a million years later but hey, the truth in it still holds. I appreciate the work Diasporadical is doing, educating people on their power. We do deserve the leaders we get. Vote wisely.

  10. Pingback: Kenya Won | Diasporadical

  11. Pingback: 5 Lessons Mandela Taught Me | Diasporadical

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