Being from the 'right family' killing Kenya's democracy


So in the last week two Kenyan women trounced men to inherit leadership positions left behind by their next of kin. It is appreciated that the people of Sotik and Bomet had the right of choice between the men and the women.

But in the same breath, it is greatly regrettable that the two are now honorables by the mere fact that they were related to their predecessors. More disturbing is calls for their appointment to cabinet regardless of their qualification or lack of it.

Though not a new phenomenon, Kenyans have every reason to fight political inheritance. It is an issue that has the potential to cripple the country’s democracy and erode all gains made thereof. It is now emerging that you have to belong to the right family or the right party for you to have any prospects of being a leader in Kenya.

Political inheritance blocks potential leaders by the mere fact that they do not belong to the “right” family. And since politics has been used as a platform for accumulating wealth, the main goal of the inheritor is the security of the family coffers as well as accumulating more. And Kenyans wonder why the country remains ‘the land of ten millionaires and ten million beggars’.

As mentioned earlier this is not the first time that political leadership in the country is being passed around in the same families. What amazes many is that the voters do not seem to see anything wrong with the issues as long as the seat remains in the “right” family.

Just because someone belongs to the family of the former leader does not guarantee delivery of service to whatever community they belong to. As it has rightly been the tradition in the country, whatever community resource that the leader may have in their control at the most benefits their extended family and those connected.

Political leadership must remain competitive if the country respects any aspect of democracy. It remains a fallacy for Kenyans to continue thinking that they will benefit from anything once one of their own is at the helm.

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One thought on “Being from the 'right family' killing Kenya's democracy

  1. You need not say more! There was absolutely no competition there and the new MPs just had it easy. Such things happen when the electorate submits their judgment to the so called ‘elders’ whose political thinking unfortunately is not often progressive.

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