What are the similarities between the Kenyan activist that cut short President Mwai Kibaki's Independence Day celebration speech and that of the Iraqi journalist that hurled shoes at President George W. Bush of the United States of America? Both actors employed unorthodox methods to express their grievances. They also captured the seismic emotions bottled within the masses of their various constituencies. For Kenya; the masses are concerned about the apparent absence of leadership, escalating cost of living, refusal by their members of parliament to pay taxes, and the attempt by the Kenya government to muzzle the press. For Iraq; the journalist captured the concerns of the citizenry on the apparent failure of the U.S.A democracy project that has seen thousands widowed, orphaned and dead.
The two episodes coming in a space of one day of each other at different points in the world call for the need to interrogate the belief that a democratic government always represents the will of the people. According to a survey by Infotrak, the majority of Kenyans (89%) disagree with the direction parliament has taken on issues raised above. For U.S.A; a shoe aimed at the President is a rude pointer that Iraqi's may not be excited about the democracy experiment after all.
Democratic ideals demand that leaders take cognizance of the wishes of the governed. Kenya, Africa and World leaders ought to recognize the fact that their citizenry will not remain ignorant forever and therefore ought to act in a manner that unclogs communication channels to avoid embarrassing situations.
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