The year is 2013. The month is December. I walk to a polling station at a Primary School in the bowels of my home county. My choice for governor is clear. That for MCA too. Woman Representative and MP, I just know who not to vote for. So I subject the rest of the field to the nursery rhyme ‘Eeny, meeny, miny, moe’ or, however it goes. With my press badge dangling from my neck like a lucid cowbell, I jump the queue and is promptly taken through the works. Soon, I am in the booth, all by myself, the candidates seeking employment begging for a tick. I go through the ink strokes quickly and walk out.
I shouldn’t be saying this, that I did not elect Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency. I shouldn’t because I shouldn’t be writing this in the first place. I am a journalist. My profession calls for strict non-partisan. And that is why my identity has to remain undisclosed. That out of the way, allow me to go back to four-and-half years ago. I weighed the choice of President hard and long. From whichever angle I scrutinised the UhuRuto combination, the conclusion was always “too young, too inexperienced to burden with the responsibility of carrying 40 million of us”.
I liked Uhuru. I’ve always found him likable. This, however, made me more afraid of giving him a job he might be unable to do, or worse, one that could change who he is. Again, there was the ICC thingie. I was mad at the conditions, threats and ‘consequential’ lectures coming from the West. But I have always been a rational folk. Safe, you might add. Therefore, despite the anger and fierce patriotism that burned inside of me, I was still too afraid the same West would turn on our inexperienced, young leaders and screw the country up. I was old enough to understand that the West is a bully. It could make us suffer greatly for defying it and electing a candidate they did not like. I knew implications of such a mess so I refused the duo my vote.
For the opposite reason I did not tick UhuRuto, I did not see any new ideas the political veterans of Kalonzo and Raila were bringing to the table. I reckoned they have been part of the status quo that has, over time, so successfully screwed this country up. I happened to also have travelled the backyards of these two prominent leaders and left with serious misgivings. We had to use hardcore 4X4s to traverse Kitui, a constituency Kalonzo has represented for more than 26 years. Besides the lack of roads, the poverty is so glaring, especially during dry seasons, you found it hard to believe it is the home ground of a Vice President, that they’ve ever been represented in Parliament.
But I had not seen it all. The poverty in Bondo, the turf of Raila Odinga, could only be rivaled by the one in Kibra, a constituency the candidate seeking a job to fix problems for the then 35 million or so Kenyans led for 30 years. I reckoned that these two gentlemen were not out to fix any Kenyan’s problem. I felt we needed leadership that would be willing to try new things, not one that would keep on doing the same old thing, hoping for different results. The Cord setup, I felt would continue stagnating the country. That feeling hasn’t changed much. In fact, it is more entrenched, but I digress.
And without my vote, UhuRuto carried the day. I have followed the duo keenly, from the newsroom to the ground. Four and half years later, I will be up at six once again to line up inside a booth. This time, however, my choice for the biggest office in the land is clear as day. The son of Jomo has it.
Allow me to substantiate my decision. But before I do that, allow me to tell you why you think the country is doing so badly, while it actually isn’t. There is one profession that wields power, almost as strong (and sometimes stronger than) the military. It is the Fourth Estate. The Media, to you and I. It is my career, and we are the ones who decide what the mood the country will sleep in and wake up to.
We shape opinions with the news coverage. We are supposed to be totally objective, report facts without trying to sway the reader, viewer or listener to any particular political narrative. UhuRuto were doing brilliantly with the media early on in their term. Then came the digital migration fiasco. The government wanted change. The global deadline was looming. But we are Kenyans, had gotten so accustomed to ‘being Kenyans’, a last minute people. Most things drag out for ages, if they ever get done at all. But the blood of the fellows we had handed the mantle of leadership had the impatience of youth. They just wanted to get things done and move to others. (It is a character that has manifested in the regime, SGR, electrification, medical overhaul, roads all done in record times), but again, I digress. The speed at which the duo was moving was something we were not accustomed to. And as is usual, change is resisted.
Apart from the speed destabilising established norms, mainstream media, which is run by business people with eyes on profits felt the change would affect profit margins. It did. The licensing of so many TV stations ate into advertising revenue. Adverts that would cost upwards of half a million on NTV or Citizen prime time are now aired at Sh15,000 by some station broadcasting from an apartment block. The threat to the business interest was real. It had to be fought.
And so led by the publicly confessed Raila fan and one of the most successful media moguls in the country Royal Media service’ Macharia SK and competently backed by a powerful NTV editor who vied for a seat in the recent ODM nominations and lost, the tug of war that culminated in major media houses going offline for some days began. The government didn’t budge. The entrepreneurs were forced by economic needs to swallow the bitter pill and reopen business. They never forgave Jubilee. We declared war on UhuRuto regime. And we are bad!
Suddenly, damning exposés, some quickly fabricated started flying off the air. Scandals, many fictitious started emerging and by the time the country realised there was nothing really on it, the damage is already done. For more than two years, Kenyan media has discredited Jubilee administration by amplifying shortcomings and sweeping under the carpet the bulging positives.
My colleagues and I have refused to interrogate allegations made against the government, carrying incomplete audit queries as evidence for graft. Yes, there was food scarcity in the country, but because there is a narrative wanted to drive, we told you the hunger is caused by mismanagement. We then dedicated pages of newspaper and minutes of expensive airtime showing dead or dying cattle and of course, speeches and opinion pieces on Jubilee failure from our primary source, an Opposition leader. We did not tell Kenyans that the drought was ravaging the entire region, and so bad was it that countries that have never experienced food shortage like Uganda were forced to ration school food. We did not mention that across the border in Ethiopia, emergency food aid ran out leaving more than eight million starving.
We dedicated endless standalone photos to starving Laikipia or Turkana villages and just spared a mention, if any, for the efforts the government put in place to make sure citizens do not suffer as much as they were in other countries, or have done in the past. We never mentioned that despite this being one of the worst drought to hit the country, not a single Kenyan died of hunger unlike previous times when scores would succumb. That’s not the tune the persons paying the piper are calling for. By the time the nine-o’clock bulleting was halfway, we had made even those hunting for Eno from constipation feel starved. That’s who we had become.
We haven’t stopped. We have joined the Opposition in trashing government projects, even those with direct impact on the citizenry. No one bothered to commend the State for introducing a maize flour subsidy, or even explain how such a thing works. But we joined a debate about expiring dates and laced unga, just to discredit the effort. Given, the maize from Mexico needed interrogation, but the amount of resources media houses employed to try and find fault was amazing. A major newsroom sent a strong team across the ocean to ‘prove’ that indeed, the maize did not originate from the South American nation. The fact that the results of the clandestine mission never became a story surely means no negativity could be unearthed.
We gleefully helped the Opposition successfully turn the unga and maize that so many Kenyans direly needed, still do, into a messy, political sand bag. As I said, the Jubilee Administration stepped on a live wire. The current is still shocking votes out of it.
Yet still, this digital migration thing is one of the things that will make me vote for the son of Jomo. Today, I am able to watch digital quality television free of charge. My DSTV decoder is now nothing but a decoration above the DVD player, a reminder of the exploitation I had been saved from to watch clear Television. The dish is gathering dust on the wall on my balcony. I watch crisp TV, many channels and no ‘rain’. Remember my fear above that Raila-Kalonzo are agents of status quo and stagnation? If you remember, they were on the forefront of fighting the digital migration programme. Anyway, they surely have never been up a tree on a rainy day trying to twist the other rain out of the TV aerial. I believe neither has Uhuru, (Ruto, definitely) but the President’s humble personality, I think, has enabled him interact more with the peasants. He seems to understand their problems pretty well. And I leave my profession, one which collectively has terribly disappointed in the run up to this election.
Reason number two I will be up with the cockerels to tick the red team is the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). This, I delve into for a very personal reason. As they say, unless your finger has been scorched, then you cannot understand the value of a cold drop of water. I have! Four years ago, the scheme paid just Sh8,000 for bed in case of admission, and this was after a million and one back-and-forths. The card covered fewer cases than the area of my body my baby’s blanket can cover. It was rubbish.
Now, a revolution. From outpatient to terminal illnesses, the NHIF is better than most conventional insurance covers. From personal experience, the card treated a very close relative suffering from cancer, from surgery to radio and chemotherapy at the, wait for it, Nairobi Hospital. Yep, getting quality health care is no longer the preserve of the Nyong’os who are ferried abroad to get it, or the Ruto’s (Bomet) who equally fly across the seas to get a bandage checked.
Poor people with hopelessly expensive illnesses can now get help from the best in the country at the expense of the scheme. Anyone who has never had a patient, even an aching tooth, and no money to have it attended to cannot understand the frustrations. The hopelessness has driven people to suicide. I have no idea what my family and I would have done with the very, very, very costly cancer treatment of our kin. We, perhaps, would have hopelessly watched as the number of people turning up for each harambee dwindle, and so the contributions needed for the treatment. We, perhaps, would have finally given up and watched as our loved one deteriorated as the cancer cells fed on her insides. We, perhaps, and thank God for forbidding it, would be planning a funeral, instead of the celebration we are holding for the successful treatment, so much so, the former patient has gone back to serving the nation, fit you would think she never left. I look at her and wonder where this thing was before 2013. I look at her and thank God she did not get sick four years ago. I look at her and thank Him again for those who cast their ballots for UhuRuto.
The third reason this young duo will get mine and my family’s vote is electrification. For as long as I remember, we have used solar power or when the sun was shy, kerosene to light our upcountry home. I was lucky my parents could afford the panels which provided clean energy, or the tilly lamp, which was equally bright and clean (but very thirsty on kerosene). Many of my colleagues in primary school weren’t so lucky. They arrived in class with running noses and bloodshot eyes from the struggles of doing homework the night before.
They arrived stinking of either raw kerosene from a koroboi or smoke from firewood, as they lit their assignment books with the same flame boiling their supper. I watched my parents fight to get power connected to our home until bureaucracy, cost and blatant demand for kickbacks broke their fragile will. Two or so years ago, that power landed in our home. Villagers are now able to do all manner of economic activities that were a preserve of the towns folk. I was pleasantly surprised to find a cyber café and a pub that closes late in the village. There is now life in a village that resembled a cemetery as early as 8pm. I was astounded some month past to here Raila wonder why the government would connect someone in a grass-thatched house with electricity.
It is mind boggling that he won’t see that kerosene is several times more expensive than rural electricity, both financially and health wise. It is impossible to understand why he would tell the government to build a tin house for the person before hooking them up to the grid. Where I come from, it was grilled in us that elders, especially grandparents are to be respected because as they age, they also get infinite wisdom. I, therefore, have massive respect for Raila as my grandfather. But when he reasons like above, I find myself tempted to wonder whether sometimes, age comes just comes alone. I differ with his reasoning because a good leader (government) is one which will show the population how to fish, instead of giving it fish.
I support electrifying the grass thatched home because then, the resident can use part of the money saved on kerosene to buy electricity and have balance to buy a shoe for their kid. The savings the family will make on health bills will go a long way in improving the economic welfare of the family, perhaps even buy an iron sheet. Most important, however, entrepreneurs are now engaging deep in the bowels of the county and this grass thatched house will be roofed by the business this electricity will bring. It is called foresight and UhuRuto seem to possess quite a substantial amount of it.
Another reason I will devote my resources to make sure we do not lose the leadership of the ‘young men’ is the Huduma Centres. This is one of the best things to ever be invented and the way it has been rolled out is equally impressive. A few years ago, you had to queue at the DC’s office for weeks and still have to wait for a year to get critical government documentation like identity card. You would get to the administrative offices to find a crowd of bored Kenyans waiting for the clerks who would show up at 10 o’clock, then promptly disappear for tea. They would emerge 30 minutes later and chat with a colleague for another 20 minutes, completely ignoring your impatient stares. You wouldn’t dare interrupt them or risk a rude expulsion from the (public) office.
The clerk would suddenly look up and curtly shout ‘pangeni laini’ and depending on the level of foulness his mood is in, he could throw some derogatory terms in the mix. He would pick the pink or yellow government slips and papers and flip through, throw them back at you and tell you to bring your great grandfather’s signature. As you left the gate dejected and cursing why you were not born with an Odinga or Kenyatta name, a man would approach and offer to help, of course at a fee. You are so desperate you discard the vow you gave God in church not to sin anymore and just like that, join the bribery statistics. And yes, your documents would be processed, without your great grandfather’s thumb print and you would go to start the one year wait for completion of the process. If you cannot relate to this, then you are either below 21 years of age or have an influential middle name.
Fast-forward today, is it an Id you want? At any Huduma Centre, the process depends with the number of people seeking the same service. However, the lines, which sometimes are long, move at a reasonable pace. What’s more, the setup of the one I frequent, GPO, is friendlier than many homes. There are enough seats for the hundreds of people seeking various government services with digital ticketing system that will alert you when your turn is due. From renewal of driving licenses to police good conduct certificate, almost any government service is available at these centres. And the staff is friendly, in fact, genuinely friendly and organised. For the first time, you can go to a government office depressed and leave smiling. It means a lot, that happiness. If you are a person who appreciates progress, you can’t help but love this administration for being so innovative.
Which also takes me to other government online platforms like the E-Citizen. Almost anything from car searches to confirmation of land title deed validity to passport application, processes that would require a strenuous physical visit to the then slow and inefficient government offices can now be finalised or the bulk of the work done anywhere, even in traffic on a mobile phone. Again, tell me, why would I not appreciate that?
Despite the almost fatal Waiguru hitch that hit the National Youth Service programme, I still view it as one of the initiatives that define Kenyatta as a man. When you are a genuinely good person, like I think he is, you want to alleviate the suffering of especially the most disenfranchised in the society. The youth, especially those that do not make the university cut suffer from a lack of guidance and exposure to jobs. If their graduate colleagues are finding it so tough to get employment, how about them with with just a certificate?
A major reason our youth are finding it impossible to find jobs is the mismanagement this country has been under for 50 years. Sadly, the Nasa brigade have been part of this leadership for a huge chunk of this period. UhuRuto rightly reckoned that these young people have resources that can be tapped into as they are shaped through discipline into responsible citizens and at the same time, inculcate in them a saving culture even as they earn moneys. I have interacted with many NYS members and they are very happy. Most are now fully supporting their families, a few years from being the source of depression for their parents.
This is a programme that needed to succeed, that must succeed. Unfortunately, the ghost of corruption reared its ugly head, threatening a project that directly affected the lives of thousands of young people. Were it for me, I would get the culprits and hung them on trees for people to mock and spit at, like happened in the days of yore. Unfortunately, we are not living in the days of then, but now. We have a Constitution we overwhelmingly passed in 2010 as a nation. It sets out institutions that are above the influence of even the President. These institution that the Constitution labeled independent have been given the mandate to deal with such people. They include the EACC and Judiciary. Which brings me to the point of implementing the 2010 law.
Living under a certain dispensation for close to 50 years gets into people’s heads. Many are those who are still hung on the Moi-era Law. Either intentionally or ignorantly, Opposition leaders have accused Uhuru of inaction in events that the Constitution strictly bars his involvement. I have developed massive respect for Uhuru over the restraint he has shown in meddling with these agencies, even when he is getting political bruisings as a secondary participant. The Sarah Serem team, for example, has been accused of taking positions that have led to very damaging strikes by teachers, doctors and nurses. While Raila and co misled the republic (with the help of my sulking colleagues) that it is the President who was to blame, Uhuru kept his distance as directed by the law only intervening when it was legally possible and tenable.
The issue of graft is another that politicians want to pin on the Head of State. They have gone as far as comparing him to his Tanzania counterpart John Magufuli who has single-handedly been on a war path with graft both in the public and private sector. Magufuli has fired officials on podiums, withdrawn multi-national companies permits on roadside rallies and lectured junior airport staff live on TV. I know, Moi comes to mind. Magufuli is a populist. He is the sort of President who, eventually, turns into a serious dictator. His kind can’t, won’t stand any dissenting voices. One of the earliest things he did upon assuming office was to jail opposition leaders. No one questions him now.
Second, Tanzania is no democracy (we are not as well but we are eons ahead). Free societies allow the media to thrive. Getting a Tanzanian visa as a journalist, even from –sorry, especially from Kenya- is harder than a Mexican getting one from Trump himself. Ask Nation Media Group. You cannot pull the sort of shenanigans we do in our Kenyan newsrooms in TZ and survive. That means Magufuli controls what goes out, what the citizenry are fed. (It’s a similar thing in most of Africa anyways, which makes ours a pretty free society).
The spat I spoke about earlier would have been painfully, and swiftly dealt with by John. A few people would be in jail with operating licenses revoked. Can you pull that in Kenya? Well, yes, but only if you went back to 1990. Very important however, Magufuli and Kenyatta are operating under Constitutions that are centuries apart. TZ is where we were under Moi, when ministers would discover their sacking on the one o’clock bulletin, perhaps coming from a State function. Heck, Moi fired a vice president, (was it the late Saitoti or Mudavadi?), at a public function.
As it stands, Uhuru can barely fire anyone. The risk of embarrassment through the court is very real. If the courts don’t do him the shame, Parliament will. Remember Ngilu and co? He could only ask them to step aside as EACC conducted its investigations. Furthermore, the same law presumes everyone innocent until proven guilty and that part is left for the EACC and Judiciary to deal, after which the President can either dismiss or reinstate. As he has insisted on many occasions, the Constitution he swore to uphold and protect directs him to provide these institutions with an environment good enough for them to operate in, and which he has.
I shudder whenever I see the impunity with which Raila and co attack these institutions when decisions go against them to imagine what they would do if they were the ones in power. It scares me to imagine these Nasa leaders, who seem to still live in the pre-2010 era, holding the instruments of power. Would they listen to anyone? Would they turn this country into a Magufuli-like State and jail myself and likeminded colleagues? Would they obey the Constitution they so disregard today, if they controlled the instruments of force? The Good Book (I think) says God will test how you manage a little, before He can give you more. Could this be the reason He has so doggedly denied Raila the presidency for so long?
Let’s talk about the mega project that both the Opposition and media have come to love to hate. I took my secondary education at a Coastal school, the days before I grew a proper beard. One day, a bus owned by a company called Tawfiq nearly broke the teenage bones in my body as it flew over the expansive potholes that littered the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. I expanded my travelling options and discovered the Lunatic Express. It was cheaper than the buses by a whopping Sh150, which was enough dough to sate my young ‘sins’ for the 16-hour trip.
The train was almost always full beyond capacity with a litany of loads filling the spaces left by the standing passengers. It moved at a speed slower than my three-year-old can cycle but produced a cacophony of noises that left images of carriages flying off the rails and onto the front pages of newspapers firmly implanted on your thinker. The thing stopped at each of the a million stages on the route, dropping some people and picking new ones. It was slow, noisy, scary at times —and all we had as a country. The rail line the locomotive rode on was more than a hundred years old.
Completed in 1897 at the cost of numerous lives, we have never made concrete effort to upgrade it. In fact, word is the shift from the metred gauge rail line to the Standard Gauge Railway was mooted in the 1970s. However, no regime, from Kenyatta senior to Moi’s 24-year rule to Kibaki, then Nusu Mkate in which both Raila and Kalonzo served as Prime Minister and Vice President respectively were able to convert the idea from a software into an hardware we could ride on.
Thirty plus years, the SGR was an impossibility in the government of Kenya’s blueprints. Then enter the boys I did not vote for. Four years later, the most magnificent project I have laid my eyes on in this country after Kibaki’s Thika Highway was unveiled. I had my scepticsm, of course fueled by negative reporting from my colleagues. However, taking a trip on the train changed that. The first journey I took from Nairobi to Mariakani in Momabsa took approximately four hours and a few minutes. The train itself is not thaaat much but it is a world-long step from the old coaches of the RVR. They are comfortable with very wide windows that give an outside feel. The view is amazing, especially when you are passing through the animal kingdom of Tsavo.
The derailing noises on the Lunatic are nowhere. In fact, you do not feel the 120kph speed the thing maxes out at. But perhaps, the most magnificent things are the stations. I could not decide which one looks better, the Nairobi or Mombasa terminus on account that they are both magnificent but in very different ways. A Rwandan journalist accompanying us on the trip remarked that some things border on showing off, questioning how we could build train stations that are bigger and better than their International Airport in Kigali. He was not bluffing. I’ve been through Kigali International Airport and don’t get it wrong, it is large and pretty. Not JKIA large but large enough.
However, either of the Madaraka terminus will easily throw it to the Indian Ocean and back in all areas –size, amenities and above all, architectural design. The mini-stations along the rail line are equally impressive. Passing through Athi River station, you wonder where in the world this country has been living. As you approach Emali, your heart melts (at least mine did, as I said, I appreciate work well done). However, as much as the passenger works end at Mariakani, more billions were apparently invested in the cargo sector. A second port had to be created specifically for the SGR train and until you visit the ground, you cannot understand the scope of work put therein.
Literally, tens of acres of ocean had to be reclaimed to create the berths and loading stations. It is impressive. And to think that this was achieved during the first four and half years of the two formerly ICC suspects term… I would be a mad man to vote out such achievers, which I ain’t. It also gets my goat thoroughly when one Raila son of Odinga stands on a podium to claim ownership of the project. As I said, I understand governments work with long-term blueprints, like the vision 2030 which will be delivered across different regimes. So, ideas do not matter. What’s important is the implementation. The SGR was an idea born decades ago. Successive governments, including those that Raila and Kalonzo served in as senior officials were unable or unwilling to make it a reality.
One of the hardest thing about such projects, my economist friend enlightens me, is getting funding. He told me to ask Magufuli and Museveni how theirs are faring. Even as our trains ferry thousands of people between Nairobi and Mombasa, our neighbours are finding it impossible to get someone to give them the loan required to build the infrastructure. That we were able to finalise our deal so early shows the level of confidence the international powers have both in our country and its leadership.
But then, some unpatriotic Kenyans, hell bent on trashing a project that we all are shareholders just because it was done by a regime they don’t like, have been comparing our SGR with Ethiopia’s electric line. A popular saying where I come from advises people to scratch where they can reach. Another warns fellows against ‘cutting’ their pants with the neighbour’s measurements.
The long and short of this is that like people, countries have individual and unique problems. It would be foolhardy to rush doing things because our neighbour did. Even at the domestic setting, a magnificent recipe for frustration and depression is unhealthy competition with your neighbour or kin. If he buys his child a motorised bike, don’t take a loan to buy the same because your kid might not even need it. At the moment, we are not generating enough power to run an electric train, especially with the massive connections going on countrywide. To us, and which is why I respect our visionary leaders, giving the power to the child upcountry who needs to study in a healthy environment is more important than channeling it to a locomotive that can at the moment, comfortably be moved by diesel.
But to show how forward-thinking UhuRuto is, the rail line is electricity ready. The power cables are laid and all we will do when we have enough energy is bet electric motors and mount them on the current locomotives and flick the switch. I don’t know why but I have an overwhelming feeling that was project being done under a RaiKalonzo administration, we would not have that electrification bit, and would be forced to build a new rail once we got the power capacity. These things lead to leadership and when I say the son of Jomo has pleasantly surprised me, I mean it. And if you couldn’t reach John or M7 for confirmation and still think it is easy to secure Sh327 billion for a project that is constructed in your land, walk over to your bank and try getting a loan tomorrow. And again, our SGR is superior to the Ethiopian line. To find out how, these people have elaborated it quite well. http://nairobiwire.com/2016/10/analysis-ethiopia-unveils-750-kilometre-electric-sgr-but-is-it-better-than-kenyas.html
Which brings me to another point the Opposition focuses on, and one which the media has picked up and blown out with glee, the issue of borrowing. These folks want to make us believe that we are committing economic suicide borrowing to finance projects. Personally, I have never seen someone, or any country, develop from savings. You have to borrow, buy that piece of land, pay it off, borrow on the land and build a flat which generates you income and the cycle goes on. Unless you were born with a silver spoon (some people actually were, including Uhuru, which is one reason his reasoning amazes me), then you would never understand the essence of borrowing. But for ordinary folks like me, and we are the overwhelming majority, we have to borrow the capital to start a venture.
So goes for countries. Even the mighty United States of America owes 20 trillion dollars to external debtors. Its GDP, meanwhile, is $17 trillion. It does not make sense therefore, when leaders seeking to run an economy, complain that we are borrowing for development. We borrowed before, but the money went to people’s pockets including building holiday palaces in Mombasa and purchasing helicopters. How long would it take our country to save Sh327b for our rail upgrade?
Surely, if this is the reasoning, then it figures why the project has remained but some drawings in the government archives this long. There are more reasons I will be out to cast my vote for the duo I shunned in 2013. However, I am tired. So let me mention the final reason Uhuru has my vote. He is a likeable individual. He is genuinely humble. During campaigns, we see politicians step from their high ladders to be one with the locals.
Most time, it looks awkward, forced, pretentious. Uhuru, on the other hand, despite being born a prince is so down to earth he appears more comfortable in the company of common wananchi. It is not a quality one can copy and paste. It has to be in you. Uhuru has it. And the genuine goodwill to assist suffering people. As much as there are also problems with his administration, on a weighing scale, the good things far, far much outweigh the negatives.
(The opinion expressed here is solely that of the author)