Opinion

Kenya needs leaders with concrete policy ideas

Kenya needs leaders with concrete policy ideas
By Ndiritu Muriithi
A politician is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office.
Leadership, on the other hand, is the action of leading a group of people or an organisation.
Leadership is not the same thing as politics. All leaders need politics, but not all politicians are leaders. 
And bosses are different from leaders. Compare the styles of presidents Moi and Kibaki. The first is referred to as professor of politics, while the latter is seen as an excellent manager of the economy.
A politician is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office. Leadership, on the other hand, is the action of leading a group of people or an organisation. 
A boss is in charge of a worker, group or organisation. All three descriptors are related.  
Leadership encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organisation to "lead", influence or guide other individuals, teams or entire organisations. 
In politics, we have to be elected to office to be in a position to offer leadership. 
To be fair, there are a few individuals who have great influence even though they are not elected. You can include in this category top corporate leaders. 
The word politics is derived from the Greek term, politiká, or ‘affairs of the cities’. 
Politics is the set of activities associated with decision-making in groups. It also relates to power relations between individuals or groups such as distribution of resources or status. 
When we study it as a social science, we call it political science.
Political actors deploy various methods. A key one is promoting one's own political views among people. 
Another is negotiation with other political players. You can also include making laws, exercising force and warfare against adversaries. 
The first three are on display daily, as we get ready for the August general election. As individual politicians and in teams, we are crisscrossing the country promoting our political views on everything from healthcare to creating jobs and increasing incomes.
 Those stuck in old-style politics take to the podium to enumerate the problems and ills of society.  
Many meetings are being held as political actors negotiate or form coalitions.
We seek elective positions so as to provide leadership in wards, constituencies, counties and the nation. 
Since some of the elective positions are executive in nature, we also play the role of boss. So, the common reference to governors as county bosses is quite apt.
But who does Kenya need? I say leaders. But all leaders require political processes and have to practise politics, as the latter is concerned with distribution of resources.
 It is also the process through which we come to office for the opportunity to offer leadership.
Yale political science professor Ian Shapiro offers that politics without policy is empty, and policy without politics is blind. 
Therefore, we need leaders with concrete policy ideas. 
It is not enough to list the problems; that we need more jobs; that the price of fertiliser is high; that the cost of energy makes our manufacturing uncompetitive. Our policy action should fix these issues.
Leaders have to use political processes to create legitimacy for those policy ideas. 
They then have to lead bureaucracies to implement those policy ideas in  order to increase incomes and improve lives.
@NdirituMuriithi is the Governor of Laikipia County (Source: Nation)

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