Kenya Doesn’t Need a President, We Need a CEO

The elections are coming up and everyone is sufficiently politicised. As a matter of fact, it is virtually impossible to walk down the street without someone trying to convince you why you should vote for some guy in an odd colour hat. And that’s not even the worst part of it, politics has eaten into social media as well, His Rutyness, Miss Karua and even Kingwa Kamencu are all using social media to try and pump us full of political policy mixed with propaganda.

And I’m confused.

It bothers me that of the ten million people who are running for president, I trust none further than I can throw a range rover. And a quick glance at the playing ground shows you what I mean; between the talks of demons, the birthright searchers, the watermelons, the over enthusiastic and the vague, there’s no knowing who to vote for. I do know, however, that I’ll vote. Although I think that voting is as futile as not voting. In fact I think democracy is only an option because no one has thought of any other option. Maybe someone should invent a sorting hat, like the one in Harry Potter, which would fix our issues once and for all. Although, knowing Kenyans, they’d find a way to be corrupt with that one too.

A couple of weeks back KCB hired a new CEO. Oigara is the guy’s name. The dude is only 37 and he is handling Kenya’s largest bank by asset base. Before this, he was the Chief Financial Officer of the KCB Group. Before that, he was an Executive Director and the Group Finance Director for the East Africa region at Bamburi. Bottom line, the guy has done the rounds.

When Steve Jobs took over apple in 1996 the company was crumbling. He had to do all that he could to pull it together before finally turning over a profit in 1998. Now, it’s true that he stepped on a couple of patents on the way up but he got there eventually. And in 2011 Apple was the largest publicly traded company in the US of A. Obviously because they don’t let crack cocaine dealers list on the NYSE but hey, who are we to judge?

Let’s move from the red, white and blue and come settle at our own red, black, white and green. Kenya is in a shaky place economically, but booming with potential. The investors are trickling in and fuelling the Silicon Savannah, the central bank has just managed to mop up enough money to drop out base lending rate to just above ten percent and inflation is poised ready to shoot up. In fact, it may already have. Sugar prices have gone up 18% in the past two weeks, although I bet that’s just the normal political nonsense and hoarding. Tie this in with the fact that, according to this book, as long as we maintain a 2% annual growth rate over the next 3 decades, Kenya should be a first world country. It’s safe to say that these are probably the most important election we’ll see in a while.

Then again aren’t all elections the most important elections you will see in a while?

An aunt of mine, in her bid to try and convince me to vote (I had taken the apathy stand at the time), told me “No, Michael, whether or not you vote the truth is Kenya needs a president.” Well, here’s a shocker for you, we don’t. Kenya doesn’t need a president. We’re now a couple of days into our fiftieth year as a democracy, and all that has brought us is war, pain, poverty and a subpar soccer team.

So I say off with democracy, let’s try capitalism as a system of government. We’ll have a board of directors’ right at the top and a CEO in leadership. The citizens will have no say as to who gets to be the CEO. The board will hold interviews and CEO’s will be picked based on previous jobs, success in previous jobs, management experience and their eloquence. We could even give them stock options? I mean, the Kenyatta family owns such a large percent of the country the late Mzee probably had a couple of stock options himself.

The thing about CEO’s is they are incentivised to grow their company, they keep their staff in order, and, above all, you can fire them; whenever you want to.  There’s no need to wait for five years, or popular vote or nothing. If the guy annoys the board, or if he is showing no growth, off with him. Of course, as with all CEO’s, we can expect to have our fair share of scandals; then again, how will that be different from what we have now?

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