Traditionally, the man was considered the head of the family. He was the one in charge of making every decision concerning the family or for any other living/non-living creatures found in the homestead. He would decide on the number of children he wants, the number of wives he would wish to have and no one questioned his decisions. In some homesteads the man usually used to eat before anyone else. His food was specially prepared and he also enjoyed the benefit of eating certain parts of any slaughtered animal. Whenever you visited a home where there is a man, his presence was automatically noticed and every decision he made was final signifying authority and power.

Unfortunately in the modern world things have changed. The woman of today is the one calling the shots in the homestead. She now decides when procreation takes place, the number of children to have, what will be eaten and who gets what portion of the meal. That is why nowadays most men tend not to make any decision regarding investments or finances before consulting the lady of the house.  To some, the lady is normally referred to as the C.E.O of the house. She literally has the powers to fire and hire at will. She commands power and authority and when she is around her presence is noticed. In short the man of today has lost his position and now the woman has taken charge.

By now some of you are wondering where I am heading with this story. Since the inception of political parties forming coalitions popularly known as political marriages, Kenya has experienced a new system of governance where government decisions are conveyed without any form of consultations or agreements. This was seen in the previous Grand Coalition government, where a Minister would release a communique concerning a certain issue and immediately the Permanent Secretary issues another statement that contradicts the statement from the Minister. One major instance was when the former prime minister decided to fire some members of the cabinet and immediately the President overturned his decision. Total confusion and internal squabbles were the order of the day. We all thought that when we do a change of guard we would finally get rid of this hectic system of governance.

Unfortunately, we democratically elected the same system in form of the Jubilee government. Many optimists said the “political marriage” that formed the Jubilee government will be an exception and no internal squabbles will be seen. Both the President and his Deputy share a similar baggage (ICC Case). Sadly the first alarm was raised when the Deputy President categorically said that no politicians will be part of the cabinet. But when appointments of the cabinet secretaries were made by the President, three politicians were amongst them. To some it was seen as the President was in charge but unfortunately that was not the case. The Deputy President “Wife” was in charge. He was the one who marshalled the numbers during the campaign and delivered votes. He influenced the appointments including those within the President’s Kitchen. He made one of his strong lieutenants the former Cherangany Member of Parliament Joshua Kuttuny as one of his chief political advisors. The D.P strategically knows every move the President makes. Some of the issues that the President is not keen on, but the hand and shadow of the D.P is evident, is how URP has rogue MP’s who keep criticizing the government that they are a member to.

On the eve of Madaraka day, CORD coalition decided to take the government of the day to the court of public opinion and petitioned the government to agree to a national dialogue. Immediately the Deputy President issued a statement telling off the CORD Principals that there will be no dialogue till 2017 during the next general elections. On Madaraka Day the President agreed on the cord’s coalition request and later on recanted his statement after meeting other members of the Jubilee party. This begs the question, who among the President and the Deputy President is in charge? Constitutionally we all know the President is in charge and the Bible also says the Man is the head of the family but is this the case nowadays?

Article by

Dennis Mwaniki

A Political Scientist



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