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The art of lying is not illegal in politics

“We are not playing politics, we are not answerable to anybody and we don’t owe anybody any kind of list, as the leadership from the region, our responsibility is to work with the security agencies to make sure the region and Kenya at large is safe from al-Shabaab,” he said.
Read more at: http://www.a.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000163300/we-owe-no-one-terror-suspects-list-says-duale

Telling lie is not a legal issue just as not honouring a promise. Actually, when a politician promises his constituents that he would build them a hospital when elected, and later fails to do so, he is not in breach of any contract. There is no any part of law that stipulates political lie. Hon. Aden Duale did lie to the public by promising a list of terrorists and their supporters. He is the same person saying, he owes nobody any list. Legally and politically speaking, the leader is right and the public is out of order to blame him for that.
My question about telling lie to the public and not honouring promise is purely an ethical issue. It is not honourable to say something then fail to accomplish it. It is again the question of a person’s own conscience, whether to keep the promise or not. Unless what we promise under oath is expressed as an agreement, and is done within the force of law, such political utterances all over the world are considered mere rhetorics.
As God fearing persons, we are not expected to keep on telling lies and get away with them for ever. It is again a question of integrity and a sign of being ethical to keep your promises. What Hon. Duale has done is a sign that he may not be taken seriously next time. A leader that is prone to self-contradiction or of altering his words tactifully may do well in politics but not in winning the confidence of God fearing people.
The whole drama comes after Garissa attack. Being the MP of Garissa he was under obligation to prove to Kenyans that he is a serious and responsible leader. He is in charge. He must prove that he is working with the system and not against it. Siding with the mourners means that one is siding with the system.Many MPs in Kenya wins the favour of electorates by offering coffins, food and money to mourners as a show of concern, yet they have nothing serious to do for the people.
Any responsible leader is expected to make similar strong meta statements to calm the public during such sad moments. But this may also come with a price. After a period of time, the public will definitely forget about Garissa incident and turn attention to other more challenging issues. But the say goes, “only those who were not affected, will easily forgive and forget”. The families that lost one or two of their beloved innocent students in the tragedy will never forget and stop weeping. The rest will see it as a past event and life continues.
It is bad for a healthy society to cultivate a culture of lie and falsehood. Such society is heading towards a serious doom. A leader is expected to be God fearing, moral, and a person of integrity. But Kenya has all together a different style…be a good liar and become famous. Be unethical, and the political party will settle on you as the chief whip. Be substandard, and the party ticket will be given to you in a silver platter. Those who are ethical must only struggle to get what they have. In many cases, politics has more affinity with being unethical and such rude and arrogant personalities are fully justified by the system.
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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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