Residents of Kiambu County have been called upon to elect credible leaders in the August 9 general election.
Area County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha speaking during a consultative meeting in Kiambu on strengthening Early Warning and Early Response Mechanism urged members of the public to interrogate those seeking elective posts before giving them their votes.
“When people are looking for jobs, they go for rigorous interview processes. We should be equally vet political leaders when they come looking for votes,” he said.
Nkanatha cautioned the gathering against electing leaders who are only concerned about their personal agendas, thereby abandoning the welfare of their electorate.
“There was once a leader from my hometown who told the people in a rally that he was seeking to be elected to parliament not to protect public resources but to protect his own wealth,” he said.
The county commissioner’s sentiments were echoed by the Kiambu Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Titus Macharia who said that leaders should be elected based on merit and not just popularity.
Macharia cited research which has shown that some of the world leaders, described as tyrants have been supported by the populace because they were good orators who excited the public with their speeches and slogans.
“We’re better off electing leaders who may be perceived as unexciting as long as they can do a good job when they get in office,” he added.
The deputy county commissioner argued that the country has always been at the risk of chaos every election season as a result of electing bad leaders who he says are more interested in protecting their own agendas as opposed to being concerned about the welfare of Kenyans.
Macharia added that there are many sitting leaders and aspirants who are widely accepted among voters despite having questionable sources of wealth, with some coming under the radar of government agencies involved in fighting corruption and other economic crimes.
“We have seen in past elections people who have been adversely mentioned in corruption scandals winning the popular vote and even being defended by their followers,” he said at the forum.
The consultative forum is expected to come up with implementation of peace and national building programmes and strategies through mainstreaming of conflict-sensitive approach to election preparedness and enhancing conflict early warning and response in order to facilitate conflict resolution and dispute settlement.