In Summary
  • Key leaders promising to provide solutions for Kenya’s perennial problems should be looking closely at his legacy and where he went wrong.
  • Winning political power and achieving wealth and greatness will count for nothing if your enduring legacy is that of a destroyer of the national fabric.

You can do some great things in your life but, all too often, your legacy will be defined by the bad things that come to eclipse the good.

Bill Cosby, for instance, was one of the greatest entertainers of the times.

Beyond his stand-up comedy and trailblazing TV shows, he was an educator, mentor, inspiration and all-round role model.

He is now remembered mostly for the string of sexual assault cases that landed him behind bars in old age.

Our own Asbel Kiprop was one of the greatest middle-distance runners of his generation, but his reputation and records will remain forever sullied by the failed dope test that halted his track career.

We can think of so many other greats in the world of sports and entertainment whose stellar legacies were ruined for various transgressions.

Ben Johnson — drugs cheat. Michael Jackson — paedophile. Maurice Odumbe — sports betting. Mike Tyson — rapist.

ROBERT MUGABE

The list is endless, extending to political leaders, captains of industry, academics, scientists and achievers in every other field.

It is in the myriad examples of mistakes overshadowing our great deeds and accomplishments that we must view the tragedy that became Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

The former Zimbabwean leader would have stood tall and proud amongst the pantheon of African nationalists, patriots and freedom fighters who delivered their people from colonial and white supremacist bondage, or home-grown despots, and also kept ablaze the torch of Pan-Africanism.

He would have been in good company with the likes of Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Sekou Toure, Samora Machel, Thomas Sankara, Eduardo Mondlane and so many other heroes of liberation.

TYRANT

Yes, he freed Zimbabweans from white-minority rule, but his story cannot be told without prominence to the brutalities he came to inflict on his own people.

He was the liberator who became a tyrant, visiting more death and destruction on his own subjects than he ever inflicted on the white oppressors.

Into the bargain, Comrade Bob bankrupted a once-prosperous country, reducing everyone but his family and a few favoured political and military chiefs into total poverty.

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