The list of 20 that could, ideally, reset our politics

Remember the saying that past misdeeds eventually catch up with you? Could it be that the list of 20 politicians red-carded for the August 8 election over integrity issues is a living testimony?

While everyone else was consumed with ensuring they appeared on Chebukati’s roll on the 8th of August, a lobby group was snipping on the public figures.

From sitting politicians to aspiring ones, Transparency International has raised integrity questions on prominent public figures which, if acted on by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), will cause a seismic shock in the political space.

What would happen, for example, if the frontrunners for Nairobi governor seat aspirants, incumbent Evans Kidero and Senator Mike Sonko, both on the list, are barred from contesting?

How about governor 001, Hassan Joho or his Bungoma counterpart Ken Lusaka? While I see sparks flying out of Kiambu Jubilee nominee Ferdinand Waititu’s corner, Moses Kuria may bring to his defence a hailstorm.

For some aspirants like Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru, the list just made the battle for survival a little harder because she is already facing hurdles from multiple angles.

For some like Machakos Alfred Mutua who have been presented to Kenyans as the model governor, however, the blow could be atomic. The names on the list are prominent and connected to the powerful in both the ruling Jubilee Party and the Opposition Nasa coalition.

Is it time we performed a proper surgery on our political system? Is this a chance to clean up our politics? Would the country survive the wave of such a powerful purge, especially this close to the election?

But, then, do the institutions (IEBC, EACC, Judiciary) have the political will —or power, to carry through such a cleansing? Fireworks have already started blasting with most in the list issuing strongly-worded statements castigating the lobby group.

What’s certain though is, whichever lens you view the situation through, the system needs overhaul. Political leadership must stop being the reward for public resource mismanagement.

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