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Mukhisa Kituyi Presidency and the Elusive Desire for Transformational Leadership in Kenya  

Govornor Kivutha Kibwana and Mukhisa Kituyi

By Winnie Kabintie

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi arrived in the country from Geneva on Sunday morning, to launch his Presidential bid in the 2022 election.

Mukhisa Kituyi, while addressing a press briefing, cited economic transformation as a key priority for his government if elected in the August 2022 polls, saying he will leverage on his international experience to address the local economic challenges the country has been facing.

“I will show sufficient attention to creating hope for the hopeless, reviving the livelihoods of those who are victims of the disruptions,” he said.

Mukhisa Kituyi, who resigned from his top job at UNCTAD, to pursue the presidential ambitions joins the political scene at a time when political temperatures have been escalating, an issue he was also quick to address and urge politicians to tone down, saying it is possible for politicians to differ respectfully and not resort to insults as has been the case.

“I want to say that it is possible in Kenya for politicians to differ without resorting to insults and name-calling,” Mukhisa said.

“I want to learn to be part of the conversation about how can we save our politics from this rising tension and combativeness. Can we find enough consumers of a politic that says let’s step back and look at who are we trying to serve?”

Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance, based in Nairobi. He served as Kenya’s Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007. He was elected to the Kenyan Parliament in 1992 on a Ford Kenya ticket, becoming the Opposition Chief Whip. He was twice re-elected in 1997 and 2002.

Mukhisa Kituyi VS Kibutha Kibwana Candidacy

Interestingly, about two years ago, a conversation was sparked on Twitter on the prospect of a Mukhisa Kituyi and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana presidency.

The conversation was driven by the need for transformational leadership and the recognition that Kenya can achieve so much as a nation, with good leadership.

Unfortunately, politics in Kenya has never been agenda-driven; tribal affiliations and political party alignments have always influenced our politics.

A leader will always be as good as his people; until the electorate decide to change the voting patterns, transformational leadership in Kenya will remain a pipe dream.

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February 2021
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