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Telling the truth or what audience want to hear?

There is nothing binding a political leader to say the truth and abide by it. Hon. Duale, the majority leader in the Kenyan Parliament has just done what many cute politicians do, that is, tell people what they want to hear. The honourable MP of Garissa has not broken any law by promising the Kenyan public a list of terrorists and those who support them. It was not a contract and it such allegations cannot be enforced by law. That makes Honourable MP very safe from the eyes of law.
But, Hon. Duale is unequivocal. He made an offer in public. He invited Kenyans to treat the issue of terrorism in Kenya. He suggested that he has an idea that would help Kenya deal effectively with terrorist attacks. His eloquent public speech in response to terrorist attack of Garissa was meant for public interest. He simply mastered the game – tell them what they want to hear…and this is not binding.
Ethically, Hon. Duale must also be concerned with the consequentialism theory. If the consequence of his offer to the public tamed the fear Kenyans had, then Hon. Duale behaved ethically. He respected the principle of the means justify the end. If the end is to seek public order at that particular moment, then we need to examine if Hon. Duale’s offer achieved the expected goal- law and order in the region.
Political promises are not binding and cannot be enforced in law. Telling Kenyans that he would publish the list of shame of those who are supporting terrorism is not considered a binding promise and Hon. Duale is very safe.
However, Hon. Duale acted immorally by telling a lie and failing to fulfil his promise. This can only affect him as so long as, he has intention of seeking the confidence of God fearing citizens.
The logic of politics has nothing like – you must always tell the truth or you must always fulfil your promise. Severally, many politicians in Kenya vanish from their electorates once elected in Parliament to avoid public blames and people seeking his intervention.
It is unethical to commit yourself to serve people then only to disappear after being elected into office. There is a perception among politicians that after all, they have to recover what they spent during campaign. It is wrong for a right thinking citizen to accept leadership position to cash money. Political leadership is stewardship and service to the citizens. Whoever takes it as a career usually end up being ethically damaged.
Duale is one of those individuals whose ethical reputation has been bogged by politics. Lets look at such personalities outside politics. They will lose general acceptance unless they stick to some ideologies that may support them after their role in politics.
Many politicians in Kenya end up in bad shape after dropping out of politics. The answer is that, they did not mind so much about their integrity and ethical life. It is dangerous to forget that the society is watching…A leader must be someone who tells people what they do not want to hear.

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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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