New wave of African politics: A lesson Malawi can draw from Kenya

Malawians are reflexing their muscles getting ready to vote for their leader in the forthcoming tripartite election in 2014. While they enthusiastically wait for this day to come, the similar events have been taking place in various countries across the globe; to be specific in African countries such as Kenya.

Kenyans went into polls few days ago in which they democratically voted for the leader of their choice. However, this has happened beyond the wish of the Western colonial masters who wanted to go against the will of the masses by painting one of the candidates as a criminal who is wanted by the ICC.  All these events don’t concern me much but what I need to express here is that what Malawians are to learn from Kenyan election?

A wise man is he who learns from other people’s experience and tries to put himself in that situation and see how he can tackle similar situation in his own backyard. This is why I say, Malawians have a lesson from Kenyan general election. As stated above, Malawians will next year vote for the members of the general Assembly, Councilors and most importantly they will choose president of their country. Just as Kenyans have done, they too will have this great opportunity to exercise their political freedom and right.

Kenyans had more than two candidates competing for the hot seat. A special analysis here should be done in terms of their age. This is what I choose as a unit of analysis while others can look at them from different angle, i.e. education or promises they made. Out of all eight candidates .

President Uhuru Kenyata and Kenyan vice president Ruto: New era for Africa on youth leadership
President Uhuru Kenyata and Kenyan vice president Ruto: New era for Africa on youth leadership

Uhuru Kenyeta (president elect) a 51 years old politician was among the three youthful candidates. Uhuru defeated his rival Odinga a 68 old folk who has been in politics for years. To me this is a lesson to Malawi old politicians that time is over for old type of politics.

I was wondering why Kenyans have given him the hot seat; fortunately, I found out that as a young fellow, he made some tremendous reforms in Kenyan government as far as economy is concern. In his capacity as a Finance Minister, in 2009, he directed that government Ministers, along with their deputies and Permanent Secretaries, should turn in their Mercedes-Benz government cars for Volkswagen. In doing this he aimed not only to reduce government car costs to about two-thirds the price of a Mercedez-Benz but also to reduce the cost of running and maintaining these cars.

He also introduced Kenya Economic Stimulus Program which saw Kenyan economy booming. These are some of his contributions to the nation that he is going to lead now. To me this implies that young politicians have something to deliver to their nations more than what the old folks can offer.

The Kenyan line-up of presidential candidates is quite similar to that of Malawi where we find old politicians (above 60 years) competing with the young stars like Atupele Muluzi and James Nyondo. I believe that if Malawians ponder very well and try to see what influenced Kenyans to elect Uhuru, they will do the same come 2014.

It should be noted that African political land scape has taken a new dimension in which I believe the young leaders should sit on the driving seat while the elders share with them their experience just like what Odinga will do with a new Kenyan leadership. Thus, I call our political veterans in Malawi to do the same.

Malawi, give the youth chance just as your fellow Kenyans have done. Believe you me; the youth can do it better than what we have experienced since independence.

Viva Malawi, viva the youth and vote for the youth if Malawi is to develop economically, politically and as well as socially.


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