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I came home from school one day to find a small meeting at our plot. The women of the plot, my mother included had all come out each one with their own stool to listen to a woman well known to them. It was not just women at that meeting but the men of the plot were there too, David and Kimiti were there and so was 'Wa Mother'.

Kamau was there his blue smelly coat in tow and so was Giteru and Mwema. I listened as the speaker told the gathering that elections were coming and insisted that they should not forget to vote for Ali Kabati as the Councillor for Majengo (that voting meant people standing behind their candidate or his photograph, the longest line won). And that his symbol was "Ndovu" (Elephant). "If you forget the name, please remember the "Ndovu" symbol" she reminded the gathering.

I asked my mum later that evening what Ali Kabati would do for residents when elected, and she told me that he would bring "maendeleo" (development) to the people.

It was Years later in life when I came across the local government act and the elections guidelines that I came to understand the role of Councillors.

Kenyan politics is such that every election year various candidates for different positions appear in meetings and outline their agenda for the people on "development" so we have grown up with this notion that the leaders know everything and for us to vote for them "they have to come and share with us, what they will do for us".

And when the election is over they waste valuable time getting back at each other. Those that were not elected will never see anything good being done by those that were elected. And those that were elected will keep blaming their failures and misjudgments on those that they defeated accusing them of "politicking".

Only in Kenya where a leader will be accused of impropriety and they will blame their "political enemy". No one accepts responsibility or move to correct the situation.

Immediately leaders are elected they begin fighting each other. An MCA fights with the Governor. The Governor fights with the senator. The MCAs and the Governor fights the MP and for a whole five years everyone has fought everyone, nothing has been done for the people who put them in office and No one is accepting responsibility.

The 2010 constitution enhanced the separation of powers between different institutions. Everyone has their job to do.

Why should it be difficult for a governor to extend an invitation to all the MPs, Senator, women Rep, and create a County caucus. In this caucus they can look at their various strengths in terms of resources and limitations and agree how they will approach different issues affecting their people?

How difficult is it for an area MP to extend an invitation to the MCAs in his area and agree to form a Constituency Caucus to lobby for monetary and other resources for implementing various projects and programs in their constituency?

Why is it important for someone to rush to claim credit on something they surely know they do not deserve credit for, while discrediting the ones who deserve the credit?

Why can't we appreciate each other's effort and steps towards improving the lives of the very people we claim to want to help?

The spirit of Harambee and of our forefathers called on us to "pull together". That UNITY is strength. Why is it that we seem to be pulling apart?

Why is it that we disrespect, hate, discredit, insult, Name call and create negative energy when other leaders elected/appointed to serve are trying to do that which they were elected/appointed to do?

Scriptures remind us that, everything has its time... Season... And Purpose.

Time has a way of teaching those types of leaders valuable lessons.

The leaders the electorates will need to look out for, should not be those that can shout the most or know how to criticise. No one needs to have gone to school to know how to criticise or to insult someone.

But the leaders we should look for need to be those that can swallow their pride and reach out. Those that are able to consult and not tell. Those that will break barriers and not create barriers of inclusivity. Those that have a track record of spirit of service. And those that remain humble as they build consensus.

Juma Hemedi

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