Politicians tainting Kenya’s image

There is an interesting poll in the nation on whether politicians should criticize the government when they are abroad.

Obviously this is referring to the opposition and especially ODM leaders who of are on an international tour to ‘popularize’ their party. Even though they deny fund raising is also high on their agenda.

I believe that even though Kenya and our government is not anywhere perfect, it is counterproductive for any leader to portray a horrendous image of our country while abroad.

These politicians do not understand that their speeches discrediting Kenya are helping keep investors away.

Let’s say ODM won the presidency, how could they turn around and ask potential investors to put their funds in Kenya after preaching to them about insecurity and corruption?

Raising money and popularizing one’s political party is okay and understandable.

However discrediting a sitting government while abroad is not only unpatriotic but especially irresponsible for any political leader who has ambitions to one day govern Kenya.

12 thoughts on “Politicians tainting Kenya’s image

  1. Your notions are laughable. So we should let foreign investors pour their cash into Kenya and hope they won’t notice when the money is stolen?

    Is it your considered opinion that these investors do not read Kenyan newspapers? Would you consider it unpatriotic to sell the Nation or Standard to foreigners on the basis that the papers may contain some bad news about the government? Should Nation and Standard pull down their websites?

    No one has discredited the Kibaki administration, either abroad or at home. The government has done this to itself.

  2. @ Gathara,

    Obviously investors do pay attention to news in countries they invest, they would be ill-advised not to.

    And don’t make it sound like Kibaki’s government just wallops any money that comes into the country.

    You also have to be honest in your assessments of the government. No one is saying they are not corrupt; it is factual that they are.

    However the government is not as corrupt as many opposition leaders would have you believe.

    In fact Kibaki’s government is the least corrupt and most transparent government Kenya has had. And if this notion seems laughable, well blame my sense of humor.


  3. Gathara lol are you serious.i doubt you have ever travelled outside kenya. you take on this whole issue screams ‘not exposed’ when obama came to kenya did he tell you of the scandals that have rocked the states this year-the corrut lobbists and the molesting senators not to mention iraqi contracts awards to the presidents cronies no he potrayed a strong and good america. when odinga comes here and says the NSE is made up of drug money and the bbc publishes stories of a collapsing economy idont know from where it affects the nummber of investor who might have thought of investing in kenya. kijana you need to travel and see more of the world.We need tobe proud of our country despite its problems all countries have problems and we need to stop complaining all the time .cant we find something good in our country

  4. good point Joe, If westerners only pour praise on their countries while abroad, yet the US for example is among the most corrupt nation in the industrial world?

    Don’t you think they protect America and keep its problems to themselves and Americans?

    There are a lot of good things with our country and we cannot choose to only highlight problems.

  5. 3N,
    I think it is laughable that you expect Kenyans to sing the praises of a government that is robbing them blind. Even for a moment assuming “Kibaki’s government is the least corrupt and most transparent government Kenya has had” that is still no consolation. According to Transparency International we are still perceived as one of the most corrupt countries on the planet.

    When Moi was in power, Kibaki and the rest of the lot in power now, were happy to make appeals to the US and UK to withhold funds, gleefully detailing every aspect of the corruption that was the the Nyayo era. Remember Smith Hempstone? Look at what happened when the hand in the cookie jar belonged to the baker(s). Suddenly the envoys had no business commenting on Kenyan affairs. Suddenly criticism of the government in any quarter is unpatriotic. And John Githongo, though appointed by Kibaki, could only get a hearing outside the country when he alleged corruption at the highest levels. Sounds very Moi-esque.

    And so what if Obama doesn’t feel he has to complain to you about corruption in his country? His government did not steal the equivalent of a fifth of annual GDP between 2002 and 2005. His President is not busy pardoning the few big fish caught in his ineffective anti-corruption nets. And neither have his government’s security forces invaded the premises of the US’ second-largest media group nor has Laura Bush assaulted journalists with impunity. I am proud of Kenya; I’m just not proud of what Kibaki is doing to it.

  6. Gathara,

    Who said I “expect Kenyans to sing the praises of a government”?

    I am not blindly patriotic as you imply, I also criticize the government and at times I am out of words for what is going on in our country. For example the recent Taliban vs. Mungiki, the government is betraying Kenyans by letting gangs control parts of our country.

    Nevertheless I still insist that what the opposition is doing abroad is wrong! And so what if the Kibaki’s did it when Moi was in power, should that justify it now?

    Whether it is Kibaki or Raila or Matiba, whoever goes abroad and takes on an agenda to discredit his own country is definitely unpatriotic and lack the foresight of a good lead.

  7. I don’t understand this penchant of yours of identifying the government with the country. Criticism of the government is not criticism of the country (and I don’t object to either BTW). And as the American Writer Edward Abbey put it: “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” There is no shame in asking for help to remove a predatory government. It has been done throughout history.

  8. I think 3N and Joe are right, coz there’s no country without problems. The point where ODM leader(s) go preaching crap to investers and expect to win elections next year, and of course expect the same investors they preached to to invest is so true…and no doubt..that may happen too.
    Thanks for lookin at mine 3N 🙂

  9. Leave gathara alone they guy has no concept of how business or government works.plus he has never travelled so he is speaking from a limited stand pointof activism that youth wingers normaly have.
    How can a patriot defend the inteferance of our affairs by diplomats to the extent that during the referendum they were meeting diplomats -for what reason .then i hear diplomats saying that kibaki should not use state resources to campaign.kenyans all jump in singing yes while president bush has been flying around the country on airforce one campaigning i dont know what is sadder the pathetic actions of some politicians or the state of mind of those who listen to them

  10. “He loves his country best who strives to make it best”

    ~~~~~~~~Robert Green Ingersoll~~~~~~~

    I do not object to constructive criticism … however, when a politician roams the globe, peddling lies, presenting his country as no good, attempting to set himself up as the coming messiah, that i have a problem with.
    Mr Raila does not acknowledge that indeed there has been progress, when asked about the 6% growth, he says it should be 10% … talks about corruption as if he is not part of teh corrupt elite … and presents so-called “Policy Papers” over expensively priced dinner plates … all the while, Kibaki is in China, setting up deals. Mr. Raila should realize that foreigners will not vote, it is the people in Kenya who will influence the outcome of teh election, and if the recent opinion poll is anything 2 go by, Mr Odinga’s ventings are merely hot-air …and true patriots of Kenya should heed little attention to such tantrums …

  11. Joe,
    your personal attacks simply betray your lack of understanding. I do not need to present my credentials to the likes of you. And to paraphrase 3N, so what if Bush does did it, should that justify it now? Was Nyerere wrong to criticise (and eventually depose) Idi Amin? Was that not “interferance in [Ugandan] affairs”? Why does every one call for the UN or US to intervene in Darfur? Is that not “inteferance of [Sudanese] affairs by diplomats”? Should the world have kept off the affairs of apartheid South Africa? Should we keep quiet when a million Tutsis are hacked to death in Rwanda or when Mugabe destroys Zimbabwe because we do not wish interfere in other countries’ affairs? Should the US and UK keep quiet while Kenya is raped by successive kleptocratic regimes? As Francis Imbuga wrote, little knowledge is truly dangerous.

    If Raila is preaching falsehoods, then I will be the first to condemn him. But Kibaki himself has acknowledged that we need to grow at 10% for the next 25 years so as to catch up with the Asian tigers. While Kibaki is “setting up deals” in China, his cronies are busy pilfering our hard-earned cash. This government spends more on luxury cars for than it does on Malaria control. True, foreigners do not vote. But they can exert influence to ameliorate the excesses of those who lord it over us. As for opinion polls, are these not conducted by the very same organisations that are vilified whenever the results show that Kibaki is not as popular as some would like? Funny the that you should be quoting them here!

  12. my point exactly.

    the mere fact that sometimes “the results show that Kibaki is not as popular as some would like” is perhaps an indication of their objectivity and/or accuracy …

    point being majority of kenyans must think kibaki tosha – regardless of his shortcomings – and they r many am sure … rather the devil i know than the angel i don’t

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