5 Reasons Why Our Focus Should be Quality Leadership in 2017
Over the years, we as citizens have elected people into political offices without necessarily thinking about the quality of leadership they offer. As a result, we have ended up with instances of misappropriation of public funds and poor delivery of services to citizens. Is it time we reflect on why quality leadership needs to dominate our conversations ahead of the 2017 elections? Here are a few reasons why I think #qualityleadership should be our focus in 2017:
Recently, Kenya attained the middle income status. However, for the 46% of Kenyans living on less than 2 dollars a day, this new status did not change their income levels. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow by the day despite the fact that Kenya is well endowed in terms of natural resources like fertile land, rivers, beautiful sceneries and lately, oil. To eradicate poverty, commitment, empathy and selflessness is required. We need leaders who uphold values of good leadership like integrity, inclusivity, service to others and fairness to address the underlying causes of poverty. Its up to us to find these kind of leaders.
The story of how much countries like Singapore have developed compared to Kenya when both countries started off at the same time often bothers my mind. The question that keeps coming to mind is where did we go wrong? Think about the amount of aid this country has received over the years. How much difference in terms of development could that aid achieve? Now think about the amount your county has received since devolution took effect in 2013? How much development has happened compared to total funds received? I’ll let you be the judge and reflect on how quality of leadership has contributed to great development or underdevelopment you witness at county and national level.
- Distribution of Resources
Prior to devolution, distribution of resources was highly skewed. Some areas got more than they needed while others went with very little to nothing. With devolution, things have changed. We are seeing resources getting to traditionally marginalized areas like counties in northern Kenya. Even so, more needs to be done to achieve equity in distribution of resources. Attention needs to shift to counties and citizens need to ensure equitable sharing of resources happens in all wards. It is a question of how fair and service oriented county leaders will be vis-a-viz being self-centered. It is also a question of how well leaders embrace the values of inclusivity, social justice, non-discrimination and equity enshrined in Article 10 of our Constitution.
- Service Delivery
The quality of service delivery is largely a product of the inputs that government makes in service delivery points. When public resources, contributed by citizens in the form of taxes, government fees among others, are misappropriated, it means that citizens do not receive services as they ought to. We need leaders who are sensitive and responsive to the needs of citizens; people who understand that they hold leadership positions in trust for citizens and their responsibility is to deliver quality services to the people. Think about the quality of services you receive and see how it related to quality leadership. Are there drugs in health facilities, clean water in homes, working sanitation facilities, safe learning spaces in schools etc?
One of the major economic challenges that this country has grappled with over the year is high levels of unemployment. While there have been efforts to address this problem via the youth enterprise development fund and kazi kwa vijana, corruption scandals have hit both platforms overtime. Are we making any progress in addressing this problem? What kind of leaders do we need to address this problem at all levels. We have a preferential procurement policy where 30% of public tenders should be allocated to youth, PWDs and women. Think about it, to what extent is this policy adhered to at national and county levels?
Do you know of other major reasons why we need to make quality of leadership an agenda in the coming general elections? Add to this list in the comments section below.