5 Easy Steps to Improve the Quality of Political Leadership


2017 General Elections are less than a year away. Soon, we, citizens of this great nation, will exercise our sovereign power directly by electing political leaders to lead us for the next 5 years. Most people who will be seeking elective posts will be on the ballot paper as members of political parties, just a few will be independent candidates. Here are 5 steps that you can follow to ensure we have quality leaders on the ballot this coming elections:

STEP 1: Register in a Political Party

If you are not a member of a political party, you need to register with a party of your choice, see more reasons to register here. This is important because generally, political parties are vehicles to political power. As described in point 5 below, you need to be a member of a political party to vote during party nominations.

STEP 2: Understand Quality Leadership

To enhance the quality of leadership in the political space, you need to understand what leadership entails and the pointers of good leadership ability. Leadership is basically a set of abilities and skills that can be observed. These abilities and skills are generally manifested in the behaviour of a person. Good leaders tend to show the way by example and role modeling. They inspire a vision that resonates with followers, challenge the status quo and empower others to act on their own. They also recognize the efforts that other people make towards achieving a set goal. So, to improve the quality of political leadership, we need to ensure that people who exhibit these attributes are on the ballot papers.

STEP 3: Develop a Vetting Checklist

Once you understand what quality leadership entails, you need to determine your criteria for vetting aspirants for various posts. In developing your checklist, consider the roles that holders of various positions so you can gauge the ability of the aspirants to deliver that roles. Also, think about what is most important to you and your community. You can determine this by looking at issues that need to be addressed. A vetting checklist need not be long, just pick four or five qualities that you deem critical.

STEP 4: Gauge Aspirants against your Checklist

When you have a checklist in place, it becomes easy to identify aspirants with good leadership potential than when you don’t have one. You’ll need to do some background check to know whether an aspirant qualifies for a post or not. For instance, if one of the qualities on your checklist is integrity, you’ll need to do some basic research to know whether the person has a history of being corrupted or not.

Check whether they have misappropriated public funds before, or have been mentioned in corruption cases. You also want to know whether their words and actions rhyme or not. Candidate’s manifestos can also give you ideas on what to expect from a candidate. For instance, you can check whether their commitments are in line with the roles of the position they are vying for.

STEP 5: Vote in Party Primaries and General Elections

Party primaries are critical because this is where each political party determines who carries its flag on the ballot paper. Usually, several aspirants compete to get a party ticket during the nominations. Only members of political parties vote during nominations. Be sure to vote for the aspirant you wish to see on the ballot paper during political party nominations. If your candidate passes the nomination process and clinches the party ticket, turn up and vote for him or her during the general elections.

If you have attained the age of majority, you have a role to play in improving the quality of political leadership in Kenya, do so in these 5 steps.

Have ideas on how else we can use our sovereign power as citizens to get good leaders this coming elections? Suggest those in our comments section below.



  1. Simon 19 October, 2016 at 23:52 Reply

    This is the way to go as opposed to waiting for someone to be endorsed by our communities or those people already in power

  2. Patrick 20 October, 2016 at 11:40 Reply

    If all of us developed checklist for vetting the aspirants, we would not have this kind of leaders were are having right now in the government.

  3. Rono 24 October, 2016 at 09:03 Reply

    There is a serious need of ensuring that the kind of leaders we elected to MCA position actual meets the required standard for they are responsible for legislating laws that will affects us at the County level. The current lot is a joke, we didn’t understand there responsibilities well……

  4. Paul 21 November, 2016 at 03:49 Reply

    No matter how good a certain aspirant is and us a citizens fails to participate in nomination process, its good as voting in the bad leaders. Nomination process in a crucial stage in determining the next candidate to be elected.

  5. Lenah 5 May, 2017 at 15:05 Reply

    Party primaries is a very crucial stage towards vetting and voting in of worthy political candidates.

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