This is a low-key announcement of intention to run again for public office in 2017. The 2013 elections are over and the lessons have been learnt. The 2017 elections are ahead of us and with adequate preparation, this is ours for keeps. Still the 2013 campaigns offered unique opportunity to experience competitive politics in general but also to position this Candidature in a way that benefits the widest number of people as possible.
One of the most important lessons that I learnt was that this Candidature, means a lot more than just seeking a political office. It inspires hope, courage and tenacity; that all of us can realize our goals and aspirations in life, regardless of personal circumstances. Making this announcement while still in fulltime employment, means I continually have to check against conflict of interest in any number of engagements. This becomes a very helpful opportunity to sharpen the Ethical Sense to avoid situations where personal interests may conflict with or potentially adverse professional interests. Gaining this Ethical sense is very important for anyone preparing to service in a public office.
Symbolic Meaning: 2017 is 4 years away, yet this Candidature, has to have relevance and meaning today. True, this announcement serves to help guide interactions and relationships with critical communities, in readiness for 2017. Still, it is important to position the Candidature in a way that highlights its uniqueness and supports realization of important individual and community ideals today. So between now and 2017, this Candidature will have expand on the following symbolism.
1. Political Positioning: For persons who believe in human rights, equality and equity, this candidature is the best placed one to address intersecting social vulnerabilities among all political players because its very identity is contextualized from a social framework of discrimination and exclusion. The very ability of this Candidature to rise above this context of social vulnerability, discrimination and exclusion must inspire hope, courage and tenacity that all of us can realize our goals and aspirations in life, regardless of our circumstances.
2. For Kenya and National Branding: Kenya like many other countries in the region is at a defining point in history, of incredible potential and opportunity. Yet against this background, there are daunting geo-political threats and challenges such as terrorism, regional political and economic instability and growing competition. This Candidature fits perfectly into the Brand Kenya matrix of diversity, progressiveness and liberal democracy. Kenya is among very few Sub-Saharan countries that would allow for let alone support to this candidature. For Kenya, this Candidature is the very representation of vibrant democracy, respect for Human Rights and enduring commitment to address intersecting vulnerabilities.
3. For Public Health: This Candidature is contextualized within a framework of addressing health disparities, in the country and the region. This is particularly the case for communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS a situation that is made worse by existing structural barriers to access. Because the Candidate currently works in the area of Health Policy, he understands best the challenges of achieving the constitutionally guaranteed right to the highest attainable standard of health for every person in Kenya. This candidature offers unique advocacy opportunity of the numerous policy programs being undertaken by the Kenyan government.
4. For the Business Community: This Candidature raises visibility and differentiates the Kenyan Brand and Market at a time when geo-political challenges such as Terrorism have impaired this brand. The Hospitality industry is particularly advantaged to benefit from this Candidature. This is because it offers opportunity to re-brand Kenya in a way that warms to the hearts and minds of the traditional tourism source markets relative to regional competition. Other business players will benefit from calmed costs of doing business including financing costs, brand reputation and reduced international marketing costs.
5. For Marginalized Communities: Observed differences between social groups can and often does become the basis for inequality in everyday social encounters. It is therefore very important for individuals and groups at the margin of the society to push against ascribed social placement that defines them as “lesser-than.” Failure to do so leads to the entrenchment of conditions that keep them perpetually marginalized and vulnerable. This Candidature is the very essence of this push-back. The very presence of this candidature says goals and aspirations in life are not defined by our history, or personal/social circumstances, but rather by our hope and commitment to work hard for their realization. Supporting this candidature is particularly important in validating this ambitious positioning.
6. For Moral & Religious Thought Leaders: This Candidature is constructive to the religious and moral leadership; even though it may at first appear counterintuitive. To the religious community whose relevance, like that of a doctor, is paradoxically positioned in the context of that which they avow to eliminate, this Candidature intrigues, humbles and demonstrates the immensity of God’s Love. The Theological community particularly benefits from study and reflection on the reality of this Candidature and the paradox of Free will, the reality of the Divine that is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, among other factors. To the Moral and Religious thought leaders, this Candidature presents opportunity for expanded Theology. As a person who has a background in Theology, I look forward to engaging with Theology teachers and students on this issue, when invited.
At a personal level, this Candidature is about service to community and making sense of personal circumstances. It is about putting at the disposal of communal value, my skills and talents, which incidentally come forth contextualized by my personal circumstances and life experiences. At some level it is a spiritual experience because I realize that my life and its experiences have to have meaning – they cannot be in vain; that the desire to serve in public life cannot be a futile desire. So, even though at the moment this desire is only realized in some metaphysical way, though the above symbolic meanings. It is my hope and desire, and one that I will commit to work with friends and partners for its actual realization in 2017.