photo courtesy of diaspora youth empowerment
In about 62 BC, a story is told about the famous Roman General Julius Caesar’s second wife- Pompeia– who had hosted an all girls party known as Bona Dea (The good goddess) in which virgin women were invited to be prophesied upon. Bona Dea was associated with chastity and fertility in women, thus was used as a means to preserve the Roman empire.
It is during this party that Publius Clodius Pulcher– a young controversial politician, disguised himself as a woman and gained admittance into the party. Afterwards, he was caught and taken to trial. Rumor also had it that he intended to seduce Pompeia.
During the trial, everyone extended harsh words to Publious Clodius except Julius Caesar, who maintained that he knew nothing about those rumors. And so, Clodius was set free. Surprisingly, Caesar instead divorced Pompei due to those rumors of opprobrious behavior. His argument being that his wife “ought not be even under suspicion”
Caesar with his political ambitions as Pontifex Maximus, needed a wife “free of scandal and beyond reproach”
This piece of history thence articulates the famous adage “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”
So why this history?
The Kenya of today is a troubled Country- with a number of issues still bedeviling it. From corruption, negative ethnicity, constitutional crisis, youth joblessness, hopelessness and disillusionment. A country which was once the envy of the East Africa region today is ranked with the highest percentage of unemployed youth.
I need not repeat that a Country which not so many years ago was placed at the center of the regions infrastructure development strategy is today abandoned by her immediate neighbors from the North, West and South who were part of the major agreements.
A Country that tasted bloodshed close to a decade ago yet has still refused to learn, unlearn and relearn.
A Country that makes two steps ahead and three steps back with the hope of achieving vision 2030. Alas! Do they still remember about this?
A Country that is still partisan when discussing a critical organ such as the IEBC.
A Country that is today rampant with what we can loosely call “keyboard terrorism” There is no better word for all those who spew tribal hatred on social media. In fact, they are online versions of Janjaweed, Alshabaab and Boko Haram.
A Country where Politicians have stopped viewing the majority poor as human beings but just as mere votes. They can be sold to the highest bidder just like sacks of maize.
A major crisis that is bringing about many of the above listed is lack of a sincere, prudent leadership at both National and County level. And therefore absence of Good Governance.
Yes, our history dictates that we rapidly formed a Country but we never really formed a Nation- thus all these problems. But Kenyans and the Kenyan youth in particular have the destiny of this Country in their hands- they can reverse this.
From now, 2017 and moving forward, a leader (at whatever level) should be nothing less than Caesar’s wife- “free of scandal and beyond reproach” / “…must be above suspicion” Anything short of this is merely recycling mediocrity.
With the words of David Cameron, the “fantastically corrupt” have no space in today’s leadership- It’s the 21st Century for God’s sake.
To the young Candidates preparing for 2017, don’t just use the “Youth Card” or the “Women Card” to advance your greed. Mediocrity can be smelt miles away even in that shiny suit and a cool ride. First acquaintance yourself with the founding principles and values of our Nation. Then search your inner self to find out what really motivates you- if it’s not building this Nation, please go and farm, there are a lot of millions there.
To the masses- Individuals who in the Political Science parlance are known as the people, public, populace, commoners, proletariat, hoi polloi, the poor- 2017 gives you yet another chance to rewrite history, are you going to prove this perception wrong? Are you really a stakeholder in this Country or just a mere voter?
To those with the perception that manicured nails do not engage in politics- PLEASE- Give us a break. A devastated Nation does not know whose nail is manicured and who’s not.
Will you from now, 2017 and beyond stand up and demand that a public officer should be nothing short of Caesar’s wife?
The power is within and with you. The choice is 100% yours.
Let’s Make Kenya Great Again.