Just like the eyes serve as a window into the human soul, Nairobi County serves as the window into our nation.
Our organisation, economic development, and political maturity are all captured in the management of Nairobi County.
In other words if we get it wrong in Nairobi, then we cannot expect to get it right in any other county.
This is why, in the past, questions have been raised as to how rural counties can perform better than Nairobi, a county that should set the pace.
The danger with this is that these other counties set their focus on a low bar because the foremost county that should set high standards is trapped in the doldrums of incompetence and underperformance. The reality is that making the city work for its residents is not rocket science.
As gurus of leadership such as John Maxwell and Robin Sharma remind us, everything rises and falls with leadership.
If we get it right on leadership in Nairobi, then everything else will fall into place.
Why is it vital to redeem the city and the county as quickly as possible?
First, the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment in the County is a can that can no longer be kicked down the road.
Our youth, who are our future, expect us to offer them employment, and the enormous potential the county has can indeed make this a reality. Unfortunately, commonplace corruption and outright ineptitude have rendered it impossible to help our young people.
The danger is that this huge block of unemployed youth will ultimately look for ways to earn a living, both illegal and legal, and obviously the illegal dimension makes the entire society unsafe for all.
The solution is simple-get the leadership right and the jobs will readily come by.
A visionary leader will safeguard county resources, invest them wisely, and create opportunities for those who need them.
A visionary governor will bring together industry leaders who will brainstorm and expand their operations with incentives and subsidies from the county government, and in expanding job opportunities will be generated by the newly created factories and industries.
We cannot afford to wait. We cannot afford to postpone the issue. We cannot take shortcuts. We must get it right, and we must get it right now.
The second reason for the urgency of redeeming the city is that Nairobi as the capital is the operational engine of the country, the region, and indeed the continent, and if we keep on getting it wrong on the leadership end, we will keep losing opportunities for growth that we so much need.
A number of international organisations such as the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have their offices in Nairobi.
This is also true for embassies of all nations. In order for these entities to operate optimally in the county, our leadership must be progressive, predictable, and development-oriented.
The conferences these organisations hold in Nairobi provide growth and employment opportunities for our people.
It must concern us that over the last decade a number of these organisations have either scaled down their operations or moved completely to other countries.
This is an expensive leadership deficit that we must take care of immediately. Corrupt individuals, drama queens and clowns must not be allowed to lead the county.
Third, mediocre leadership has lowered confidence levels among businesspeople leading to closure of some and reduction operations for others, and of course this has crippled revenue collection.
The taxes paid by our men and women in business help in offering vital services to our people. Therefore, the last thing we want to do is to suffocate these loyal and patriotic taxpayers with retrogressive laws, unnecessary harassment, and theft of their money.
Proper leadership in the county will ensure that punitive business laws are repealed, the commonplace mistreatment of businesspeople is eradicated, and stealing of taxpayers’ money is stopped completely.
This is the only way to build confidence among our businesspeople and give them the climate they require to do business, create jobs, and pay taxes that will keep the county running and growing.
Settling for mediocre leadership is equivalent to deferring the Nairobi County dream.
We owe future generations a prosperous county. We owe ourselves the peace of mind that comes with a healthy living environment free from pollution, crime, and chaos.
We can do this. Let us go forth and stand up for the City we love.
The author is a Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant on a Jubilee Party ticket, an established businesswoman and a philanthropist.