By Martin Masinde
It’s without doubt that the Secretary General of a given political party holds a highly coveted office. The mandate of the office must match the person so that he or she can competitively handle the affairs of the party.
The survey sought to address the issue of compliance through several topics on compliance by political parties with the Constitution and relevant laws; Leadership and integrity; best practice; transparency and accountability; campaign management; mergers and acquisitions; human resource and administration; media engagement; conflict management and the management of post-election outcomes.
It also sought to rank various Secretary Generals of Political Parties in our country Kenya. This come exactly two months to the General Elections.
Under the survey, various parameters were put at play and it will be interesting to learn how the different SG’s ranked.
Some of the key parameters included: vibrancy, resilience, continuity, credibility and versatility of the secretary general.
The study narrowed down to the key political parties in the countries namely: The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), The United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the Amani National Congress (ANC) and the Jubilee Party (JP) whose Secretary Generals are: Edwin Sifuna (ODM), Veronica Maina (UDA), Simon Gikuru (ANC) and lastly Jeremiah Kioni (Jubilee party).
In the very independent survey, key respondents credited two secretary generals for the exemplary leadership they have showcased and these are none other than Edwin Sifuna and Simon Gikuru.
Under the parameter of resilience and tenacity, Edwin Sifuna scored an impressive 45% followed closely by Simon Gikuru 30%, Veronica Maina UDA scored 15% trailed by Jeremiah Kioni with a partly 10%.
Simon Gikuru of ANC scored overall position one at 39% closely followed by Edwin Sifuna at 37%. The two emerged as greatly inspiring confidence within their respective party ranks as Chief Executives.
Under the aspect of party vibrancy and the most promising SG with great ambition, Simon Gikuru outshined Edwin Sifuna with the former garnering 53% against 25% while Veronica and Kioni shared the partly 22%.
This is greatly because like in the case of Jubilee party most of the respondents termed it as a mere shell which is attributed to betraying the trust of the general Mwananchi since the handshake. Most of these respondents in their questionnaire also said that nothing could be done to revive parties on their deathbed like the case of Jubilee.
Another key parameter was party manifesto and the general perception of the party in public. Secretary generals being the face of the party, in this respect once again Simon Gikuru of ANC outshined Edwin Sifuna of ODM. Simon Gikuru scored 50% with Sifuna 35% whilst UDA and Jubilee shared the remaining 15%.
The other key parameter was public trust in the parties. Edwin Sifuna got 33%, Simon Gikuru 30%, Veronica Maina 27%, Kioni 10%.
The Republic of Kenya is a multi-party democracy where every citizen is free to make political choices by vying for a political position, campaigning for a political party, or electing political leaders as guaranteed in the Constitution.
This therefore gives mandate to the people of Kenya to exercise their political and democratic rights. The Kenyan political arena attracts various stakeholders whose technical and leadership competence require to be enhanced in a focused and uniform way across the country.