There Comes a Time for the Hard Decisions.

In the wake up to the 2002 general elections, the political temperatures were on the rise. A lot of people were expectant both within the political circles and the general populace. The time too was ripe for a change of guard.

I suppose it was a time to make the hard decisions for everyone. Critically speaking, even Mzee Moi must have thought so deeply about the aspect of letting go a seat he had occupied religiously for 24 years after the passing away of the founding president; mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

But an even harder decision awaited him. He must have been torn between who to nominate for the KANU presidential candidature. On one hand, he had one of his long serving vice presidents Prof. George Saitoti, on the other were the son of Jomo, Musalia Mudavadi, and even the son of Jaramogi too wanted the nomination via an alliance with the ruling party.

And then came the D-day. A delegate’s conference had been organized at the Kasarani stadium and it was here that the big announcement would be made. An early agreement had been sought to pass the mantle to Saitoti as the senior most political person now that he was second in command after the president.

Nevertheless, in his wisdom and in allegiance to the code of conduct that mzee Moi had so well mastered, he dropped a bombshell. The least most expected person, one little known fella by the name Jomo Kenyatta was his choice.

As it was always said, Moi had the near divine wisdom and the best one could do was to agree to the choices of the president even if according to their own seeing, it was the wrong one. Now the guard changed hands. Moi had done his best. He had made his share of the hard decisions.

One guy decided to make his share too right there and even went ahead to declare it. It was one, a professor of mathematics, George Saitoti. It was Saitoti who had inspired me to become a professor someday, something I am not sure still holds today. Initially I had a dream of being a pastor, but I later changed to being a professor because of this man Saitoti.

I am not very sure why it became Saitoti when just close by was Prof Ongeri but they say that we know it when we see or even hear it just like matters of the heart. We see dozens of women and men everyday but when we meet ‘him’ or ‘her’ we can tell it.

Saitoti took to the podium that day a bitter man so to say. But his choices were limited within the ruling party. Before he could think of other options, he remarked the famous words, “there comes a time when the nation is more important than an individual.” It must have been very hard to come to terms with that well, untimely message to him.

Others like Raila Odinga and the rest had to fathom the hard reality and quickly rebrand. As a principle in politics, it can never be politics if there is no betrayal and crossings of the red lines. And the game of tit for tat is well played there.

Now we switch gear and look at the concept of taking the hard decisions in the context of real-life situations. For those who have come to that point in time when they must make the hard decisions, it is often a case of stresses and mind bogging activity.

Often than not, it is about giving up on something that a person loves so much and they have become fundamentally attached with. On other instances it is that thing that someone has laid all their hope on and are literally giving up their life for it.

We come to those terms every once in a while. We trade our entire lives for the sake of love and soon or later we get heartbroken. And because to some love is everything, giving up completely becomes very to the point of literally failing to move on.

By word of mouth, they could be saying that they are really out of it but action wise things look different. To such a people, the folly of expectation of the return of their loved ones overcrowds their judgement until they don’t realize when to let go.

And when they do, it becomes grudgingly with lots of resentment. For this case it is understandable though because taking the hard decisions can be painful. But then there comes a time we must take those decisions.

I was thinking the other day of stopping writing this weekly blog. It has been over 5 years of writing every other week. And then I though that perhaps it is time we called it a break and pursued other pursuits in this life, I knew it was going be one hard decision to take.

It may not be now or even tomorrow but it is one decision which will have to be taken one day. It then dawned on me that letting go is not that easily done as told. This writing has become a part of me. Perhaps like Dr. Dawood, it is one of my sweethearts.

Notwithstanding, when that time comes, it a decision that has to be made. Like the matters of the heart, some doors have to be closed in order that others may be open. When it comes too hard, there are no tradeoffs, it just closing and opening new ones.

But for now, I am taking the hard decision of loosening up for a co-wife to this writing. There comes a time when other interests are more important than the individual. Probably I will live to hear people talk of this day when this popular statement was made ha-ha. 



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at

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