This Is The High Cost Kiambu Has To Pay For Our Leaders' Endless Infighting.



Since the actualisation of devolution in 2013, the story of Kiambu County has been one of political rivalry, mistrust, active interference, tension and unrealised economic potential. Bad politics have dominated and the economic relationship has simply been trivial despite its potential.

The bad blood between Governor William Kabogo on one hand and a number of county MPs, including his fiercest rival Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu, has hinged on the performance of Kiambu County.

The county’s troubled political environment has been among the most important threats to its competitiveness. As investors and entrepreneurs seek to tap into existing opportunities in other counties, poverty and extremism continue to stalk Kiambu County due to the political tension and uncertainty caused by this antagonism.

The rivalry has reduced human capital accumulation, negatively impacting on public investments and development programmes. Even though these tensions have not escalated to serious economic conflict, the county has had trouble mobilising any significant investment necessary to catapult it into great economic growth.

It is good to point out here that economic growth and political stability are deeply interconnected. The uncertainty associated with an unfriendly political environment reduces investment and the speed of economic development. It substitutes productive domestic investments in favour of consumption and capital flight, thereby leading to a reduction of domestic production.

In areas where leaders are in constant political match-ups like what we are witnessing in Kiambu, their citizens have higher incentives to engage in endless political debates rather than productive market activities. This was evident in the various places we visited within the county as well as in social media platforms like the popular Facebook group known as United States of Kiambu. Kiambu people are always engaging in verbal outbursts about who belongs to which camp.

Kiambu leaders on the other hand spend their entire sessions trying to please their lobbyists who they use to fight their political battles, leading to a more direct effect of rent-seeking activities on policy decisions. It is these power-brokers who decide who gets what funds/bursaries, appointments, tenders and contracts in the county government or in the CDF. These are the people who determine what propaganda story line will run and to what effect.

In the midst of all this confusion, services to the masses is compromised, corruption within the systems thrives, the intellectual thieves have a field day looting public coffers as those contracted to develop public facilities and infrastructure take advantage of the siege to do sub-standard work. The politicians on their part take advantage of the incertitude they are creating to fraudulently acquire the wealth that they are using to fight each other and what they will use to campaign when push comes to shove.

They say that good leadership is like the light, permeating into every aspect of an institution or business while poor leadership is like the shadow, darkening many areas of the organisation. Poor leadership is misleading and lacks vision. Poor leadership causes huge gaps between strategy and execution. Poor leadership negatively impacts every area of business.  

Poor leadership survives in intimidation and bullying of those below them into creating human zombies who are just there to cheer their leaders and massage their egos. Poor leadership inhibits the development of synergy, thus fails to coordinate tasks within their jurisdictions and promote an atmosphere that encourages idea sharing and discussion.

The people of Kiambu County are reaping the fruits of making the wrong choices as pertains to their leaders, both in the county (Assembly & Government) as well as in the National Assembly. They are the reason President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is a resident of Kiambu, early this year said that he was ashamed to be associated with the county affairs.

Kiambu County basically lacks team leaders to push the constituents forward to a common objective. Our leaders lack the foresight to see challenges on the horizon. What we have are rigid leaders who are unwilling to do the things required in order for the county and its people to succeed. Ours are intemperate leaders who are incapable of controlling their basic desires, and thus cannot achieve the higher goals of the team; ie the county. Their position of power is only being used as a tool to satisfy their personal desires.

We are unfortunately being led by callous leaders who are basically destroying any good will that exists amongst the residents of our county, leading to a fundamen­tal breakdown of trust. Kiambu leadership (both levels) has ended up becoming this needless enemy of the people who could otherwise have made valuable contributions to its development and the growth of its people. Nobody is willing to take risks or put forward new ideas for fear that these leaders will react with contempt or scorn. Our leaders have reduced all answers to “Yes or No” rather than explaining their reasoning… Leaders who find it a waste of time to find real solutions from their people through intellectual thought.

Over to you the residents of our beloved county.

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