How Uhuru and Ruto have Forsaken the Youth in Public Appointments

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How Uhuru and Ruto have Forsaken the Youth in Public Appointments

The Uhuru and Ruto government first appointed old guard to plum state jobs. They ignored qualified and experienced young people and young professionals. Yet, to make the matter worse, the old guard are old politicians and political losers they recycled.

The old guard were in the past governments. Some of them date back to the independence regime. They do not want to retire because they want to ‘eat’ as much as they can from the lucrative state jobs.

Uhuru and Ruto packaged their political campaigns before the 2013 general election as youth centred. They belittled the opposition, led by Raila Odinga, as a home of ‘old guard’.

Uhuru and Ruto said the politicians in the opposition were ‘too old’ to lead. They told the youth that it was time for the old to retire with former president Kibaki. They considered themselves the ‘Young Turks’ that would take over from the old guard.

However, Uhuru and Ruto lied to the Kenyan youth. The statement ‘choices have consequences’ prevails to date.

Uhuru and Ruto isolate the youth

Uhuru and Ruto sent their first signal that they would isolate the youth before the 2013 general election. They did not run for the presidency to promote or accelerate youth inclusion in government. They were paranoid about the outcome of their criminal cases at the International Criminal Court. This was the major reason for their political unity.

They were desperate to grasp power to influence (read sabotage) their cases at the ICC. Yet, the youth handed them the presidency on a silver platter.

The other signal was Uhuru seeking out the former ruthless president Moi for advice. To date, Uhuru seeks out Moi when he needs shrewd political advice. This is despite that his major political and legal advisors are what anyone would consider ‘young’ people.

Complaints arose about the ‘young’ political advisers giving the president the wrong advice in the past. Perhaps that is why he chose to ignore them and seek Moi’s advice.

Ruto and Moi cannot see eye-to-eye. Ruto is responsible for the decline of the Moi political dynasty and influence on the Kalenjin community. Moi did not give the Kalenjin tribal kingship to Ruto. Rather, Ruto snatched it away from him and his family. KANU, the party affiliated with the Mois, tried to regain their influence through the Kericho senatorial by-election, but they flopped.

Uhuru and Ruto gave plum state jobs to the old guard as rewards or tokens for political loyalty. They also use the state jobs as opportunities to buy out support from regions considered as opposition strongholds. They have managed to buy out some old politicians from the former Western, Nyanza, and Coast provinces.

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Uhuru and Ruto appoint some of the youth based on sycophancy

Yet, it remains a mystery if these positions will translate to increased political support from these regions for Jubilee Party come 2017 general elections.

The old guard are extremely wealthy. They amassed great wealth from the former regimes, mostly through fraudulent means.

They promote the Uhuru type of kakistocratic government. In this government, the rich (persons and institutions) govern the poor. Some of the old guard are generous contributors to their political campaigns.

By appointing the old guards, Uhuru and Ruto forsake the youth. Yet, they were at the forefront telling the youth to register collectively as voters. How ironical and absurd! They exploit the youth but neglect them in sharing state jobs.

They choose the few youth that benefit from appointments to these positions based on sycophancy. The results of these skewed appointments are evident in the NYS and Youth Fund fraud schemes.

“YOU WANT FRESH AND YOUNG GRADUATES WITH LITTLE EXPERIENCE TO BE GIVEN PUBLIC JOBS; AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE OLD MEN WHO HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE?” (A SATIRICAL EXCERPT OF CHINUA ACHEBE IN ‘NO LONGER AT EASE’).

David Matsanga is among those who defended the appointments of old guards by Uhuru and Ruto. He said they “play the roles of an African elder.” What roles are these? What these old guard do is micro-manage the youth. They lie to us that we are the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ while they pocket the money and dim the opportunities for the youth.

We do not need the old guard

More so, we do not need these so-called ‘African Elders’ to play any roles in government. We already have the Constitution and other laws that promote and safeguard the state and nation of Kenya.

The youth should send a message to Uhuru and Ruto. They should express their frustration for the way the Jubilee government has forsaken them. The same government should stop labelling itself as serikali ya vijana (a government for the youth). Not when Uhuru and Ruto set aside state jobs for the old guard and ignored the youth.

The August 8th 2017 general election is beckoning. The youth should consider if they really want another term under Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. They entrusted the hyenas to write a proposal on how to protect goats. However, once bitten…

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George Gĩthĩnji comments on current political and social issues in Kenya. He is also passionate about devolved governance and public finance. He runs the @UgatuziKenya Twitter platform.

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