Blind loyalty, I believe, is one of the cancers ravaging the African continent. Even elites are known to defend the indefensible in order to please their superiors. How can nations and organizations thrive if all that is followed and done is what the leader says and believes? Who said that the best ideas come only from leaders in Africa? Who told leaders they were all-knowing? For nations and organizations to thrive, this culture must change.
Blind loyalty is common in Kenyan politics and organizations. In fact, if you are in a position of leadership and do not blindly follow the leader, you are easily labeled as a traitor in politics or uncooperative, strange in the corporate world. Unfortunately, if you oppose decisions that are clearly wrong, the leader and their sycophantic followers begin to question your loyalty. That is why you hear about so and so cows and others waiting to ask how high they should jump when their leaders say things casually.
I am sure you have encountered situations in which if you positively criticize a leader whom you previously supported, others label you a traitor. Unfortunately, few African leaders value effective followers who are courageous enough to tell them they are on the wrong track and are naked. Most leaders prefer adoring followers who will cheer them on as they lead them down the rabbit hole.
As the story of Mackenzie unfolds, I can’t help but wonder what kind of loyalty this is, where families and people are fasting to death while their leader probably enjoys all the meals without remorse. They are no different from you and me if we can blindly follow our political and/or organizational leaders even when they make grave errors. Do Kenyans ever ponder the consequences of blind loyalty?
A noble quality that keeps people committed to their promises and commitments is loyalty. However, in politics, loyalty is frequently mistaken for blind obedience, where people blindly obey their leaders even when what they are doing goes against their beliefs.
This blind loyalty is dangerous and undermines the very foundation of democracy by allowing politicians to abuse their power and manipulate their supporters for personal gain. It is a loyalty that necessitates unwavering support, even in the face of immoral and unethical behavior.
True loyalty, however, is not blind. It is a deliberate decision to support and uphold one’s beliefs and principles, even when it is difficult and unpopular. It takes critical thinking and discernment, as well as bravery, to speak out against injustices and hold leaders accountable for their actions.
It is crucial to keep in mind that loyalty should not be shown toward specific people, but rather toward the values and principles they uphold. The erosion of democracy and civil liberties can be brought on by blind loyalty to a person or party, which can result in a disregard for the very ideals that they claim to uphold.
Loyalty without critical thought can have disastrous consequences. The Nazi regime in Germany and Kenya’s numerous cult-like followings, the most recent of which is the Mackenzie bizarre by his followers, are just two examples of blind loyalty. People obediently followed their leaders both times, paying no attention to the crimes committed.
In politics, blind loyalty can lead to a lack of accountability and transparency, as well as the stifling of dissenting voices. It can also create a toxic political environment in which people are marginalized and punished for expressing opposing views.
As a result, it is critical in politics to distinguish between blind loyalty and true loyalty. True loyalty necessitates a commitment to values and principles, as well as holding leaders accountable for their actions. It’s not an excuse for blind obedience or turning a blind eye to injustices.
To distinguish between false and genuine loyalty and to hold our leaders accountable for their deeds is our duty as citizens. Then and only then will we be able to uphold democratic and just principles.