Recently, Vihiga County senator Mr George Khaniri renewed his infamous calls imploring Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Hon. Musalia Mudavadi to support the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Mr. Raila Odinga for presidency. From Mr Khaniri’s perspective, it is only Raila Odiga who can vanquish the Jubilee administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Whereas Mr. Khaniri has a right to express himself as he deems right, he has got no right to interfere with the candidacy of Mr. Mudavadi who was perhaps the first leader outside of the government to declare his candidature in the presidency of the republic of Kenya. Time and again, senator Khaniri has used and abused the privilege of his office to look down upon Hon. Mudavadi.
Yet, were it not for Hon. Musalia Mudavadi and the United Democratic Forum (UDF) party that sponsored him, perhaps Mr. Khainiri wouldn’t be senator today. Which begs the question: If senator Khaniri can disrespect a man who aided his chances of becoming senator, can he be depended upon to steer development agenda for the county? Can he promote collegial relationship with fellow leaders in the county and in the country to ensure sound legislation, articulate representation and transparency and accountability is achieved in the interest of a bubbly devolution?
From my perspective, answers to these questions depict Senator George Khaniri as a non-dependable leader whose political survival and selfish interests supersedes the interests of the people of Vihiga County. Perhaps senator Khainiri erroneously believe he is the only anointed leader who is entitled to a political office he is holding.
To the contrary, Vihiga County has got a long list of smart, articulate, and goal oriented leaders who can perfectly fit in senator Khaniri’s shoes and offer alternative leadership that will not look down upon other leaders but “unite all and scatter none.” One of those leaders who happen to be senator Khaniri’s main opponent in the 2017 senate seat is one Mr. Julius Amira Saisi.
Born and raised up in Cheptulu village, Mr. Saisi strikes many Vihigans as a visionary leader whose desire for a developed county is his guiding principle. With his mantra of change, Mr. Saisi abhors corruption, incompetency and ethnicity, evils that have ruined our country and are slowly but steadily putting the success of devolution at risk.
Having received secondary school education from Emusire high school in Bunyore and with friends across the county, Mr. Saisi has a gift of embracing and understanding different ethnic dynamics in a county whose leadership has been accused of disenfranchising other ethnic groups that are considered politically inconsequential with inequality in disbursement of resources.
With his admirable global experiences, Mr. Saisi brings enormous talents that our local political landscape can use in terms of bringing real change that can end corruption and revive the economic lives of the residents of Vihiga County.
As senator Khaniri will be busy denigrating other leaders on national and regional level and scheming for his political survival, Mr. Saisi will be offering alternative leadership that will restore the dignity of Vihiga County from the doldrums of uncertainty and hopelessness.
More importantly, however, it is Senator Khaniri’s lack of decision making ability in as far as his political home is concerned that casts him as an indecisive leader who wonders between opinions, hence, throwing the political state of Vihiga County into balance. Whereas he is in UDF, senator Khaniri is believed to be in bed with ODM. Truth be told, days of political prostitution are over. These are the days of political decisiveness where leaders must take strong stands in the interests of the electorate.
By and large, the biggest question that senator Khaniri must answer is: in the wake of unprecedented allegations of corruption in Vihiga County, where has he been? Lest we forget, responsibilities of a senator are mainly legislative, representation and oversight. Yet, senator Khaniri hasn’t been effectively executing that mandate. Were it not for EACC, residents of Vihiga would never have known revelations of graft in their county.
Additionally, very little if not none at all is known about Khaniri’s legislative prowess. Not a single bill that I know of is attributed to senator Khaniri’s name. Days when legislative business wasn’t taken seriously are over. We cannot afford to do things same way and expect different results. But the good news is that the residents of Vihiga County have got a chance in the next year’s general election to make their voices heard.