Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

It must be true that political cold than winter is sending shivering signals at the moment across the political divide after the confirmation by President Salva Kiir Mayardit that come 2023, the general election will take place. I do not want to exaggerate what is going on in the political minds of some politicians but get me right. The election year might sound too far but for a politician, it is sending signals of sleepless nights. This is going to be the climax for the citizens to elect their own choice who will dance to their tune, come time for service delivery. One wrong move made to elect your preferred representative, then the long journey to another election will see you carrying your own burden. Don’t make a mistake. It will be lining up in political camps but which must be done in a peaceful environment which is being created or put in place now. The first thing to do from now is to engage all parliamentarians and leaders of different institutions and organizations to collectively work together for this peace to be properly felt come the year of elections. They normally say that a politician needs only a day to survive the onslaught directed. They also say most politicians have “nine lives” which make them turn like chameleons. How   true this is, l do not know but what l know is that there is no permanent enemy in politics. They differ today and tomorrow they are together. It is hard to understand this game unless you are a player yourself. For spectators like you and me, the best that we can do is to watch from a safe haven until the game is over and the best team wins. It is paramount to support a true and good player who has given his or her time to her team and who could be counted for the good doings.

I borrowed from my readings five top qualities of good political leaders just for reference to the electorate to see and understand who should suit their cause.

A leader is getting ready for a crucial general election. For a long time, we have been agitating for nomination of clean competent candidates by the political parties for example deciding which candidate to vote into office is simply a matter of party affiliation for many people. Others, however, cast their votes based on specific characteristics they look for in their candidate of choice. So, what are the qualities or characteristics good political leaders should possess? Here are the top five characteristics of some of the world’s most successful political leaders. Being honest can sometimes be difficult because it makes individuals vulnerable. It reveals who we really are and discloses our mistakes, which gives others the opportunity to criticize or reject openly. Honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust, which are the foundations to evoke confidence and respect from those around you, and in the case of political leaders, teammates and constituents. Compassion is the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something to alleviate that suffering. While many see compassion as a weakness, true compassion is a characteristic that converts knowledge to wisdom. Good political leaders use compassion to see the needs of those he or she leads and to determine the course of action that would be of greatest benefit to all those involved. The word integrity is defined as ‘the adherence to moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character.’ It is a synonym for honesty and uprightness, and is a vital characteristic for those in political leadership. Political leaders who possess integrity can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might benefit them to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers. This requires the highest standard of integrity. Having confidence in a political leader is about having faith or belief that he or she will act in a right, proper, or effective way. A good political leader needs to be both confident in himself or herself as well as in their ability to lead. Leaders who possess this quality inspire others, drawing on a level of trust which sparks the motivation to get others on board and get the job done.

 Flexibility for a political leader is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find the common ground. Good politicians listen carefully to all sides, to not only hear their arguments but to especially learn what it will take on behalf of all parties involved to reach a consensus. This characteristic allows political leaders to recognize setbacks and criticism, to learn from them and move forward. Great political leaders have all of these qualities – and more. Each aspires to respect different views, analyze problems, and identify the best solutions – not based on loyalty to political party, but rather based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the nation as a whole.

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