greetings from Nairobi

I am still alive and there maybe no elections on 26th October.

I have questions,

would the world economy be harmed if we gave everyone basic income, reduced work hours and abolished private property?

does abolishing jail houses portend a rise in criminal activity?

is such a society desirable?

what place does education play in forming better citizens?

would abolishing the entire war enterprise be beneficial to all the residents of the globe?

Letter to President Kibaki

Dear Sir,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Mr. President, your ten year term is coming to a close and there are those who think that you have been a good president. They see the economy has grown from less than 1% to 7%. They say you have built roads, that in your administration dependency on donor funding has reduced that we now finance 60% of the budget. This is all good I suppose but I have a problem and please hear me out.

When we voted for you in 2002, you made a promise that corruption will be a thing of the past. You promised to unite us, you promised to defend the constitution, you promised to reward merit. How did you perform? I want to tell you your performance has been worse than poor. When your Secretary for Ethics, John Githongo, resigned from his job citing lack of support I knew then you only hoodwinked us to believe you really want to deal with corruption. I realize when you took the reigns of power, your predecessor had plundered everything and given out large tracts of land[ The Ndungu report alleges there were pieces of land given on his authority] so your cronies had to find new ways to steal. And here they learnt very first. In a short time, we had ghost projects and ghost suppliers and contracts running to billions of shillings, education funds disappearing, maize funds disappearing, kazi kwa vijana funds disappearing, what did you do? You paid lip service, in fact you hardly ever uttered a word and when you did you reinstated the very people suspected of abuse of office to their plum jobs so they could continue with bleeding us dry.

On the rule of law, after we voted overwhelmingly for the new constitution, your first act was to act against it by making appointments contrary to the document you swore to defend. The only thing that stopped you in your tracks was public outcry and the courts or else you would have your way. To this extent you have failed sir. In your cabinet there are people who have been accused of crimes against humanity, you allow them to traverse the country stirring hate and you sit comfortably on your pedestal calling us mavi ya kuku and tumbafu-we your employers- where is the law on integrity and ethics? Please tell me that you didn’t know there are such clauses then I may excuse you, but until then sir, I consider you a failure.

Sir, we elected you to lead and in so doing you should have gone above what we expected of you. In this respect had you reduced the size of your government after the enactment of the new law, I would have said you are successful president, but you sir have failed -failed terribly-

It is during your presidency sir that we have had the worst election violence in our recorded history. You seem not to notice there are good citizens, men, women and children- whose only fault was speaking the wrong language- that are still called IDPs. This is one thing that to me appears not to have even crossed your mind while you sleep in State House paid for by our taxes.

Those who sing your praises say you have done infrastructure, that they can see roads and Kisumu Airport. Well I see these things too but I don’t think you had a choice on this matter and besides what did you want to do? The reason we provide you with free housing and security is so that you find time to ensure that we have roads. Now let us look at these roads critically. The main road that has been done is Thika Road, in your estimation is this the best you could have done? If I was in your shoes and wanted to claim infrastructure as a success, I would have opened up North Eastern Province, that is where to build a road. Again I submit you have failed as a president.

On legislative duties, being the person who signs bills into law, how have you performed. I will tell you sir, you have failed. You have signed into law bills that are against the spirit of the constitution. You in cohorts with the MPs have made a joke of the constitution. You sign laws that allow them to jump ship anytime they want whereas the constitution attempted to bring party discipline – I know am being ambitious expecting any better- you have never shown any interest in developing parties. Mr. President, you have failed. You have an opportunity to redeem yourself. Parliament has been dissolved and the MPs can’t run riot anymore, decline to assent to the bill awarding you and the MPigs[allow me to call them that] obscene amounts of money while many of us have no food to eat and sleep in the cold we no longer can tell a warm and cold night from each other!

Mr. President, you receive security briefings every single day. What are these gentlemen doing if whole villages can be torched in broad daylight. We pay tax so the police, army and intelligence officers can be paid and so you can sleep in peace. We can’t have people being killed in hundreds and not a word from the Commander in Chief. You declare a day of mourning when your buddy dies, everything stops, you run to church to ask god to keep them safe and when your employers are killed senselessly, you say nothing! Please why did we employ you? To insult us, or to have control among other things on the instruments of violence to ensure the security of us all.

I know you are busy planning for a golf session so I will end my letter here and ask you to please do just one thing to redeem your image. Your presidency is a failed presidency! You have performed less than we expected, you haven’t inspired me any bit in any way unless you mean by insults.

Thank you and be well.

Onyango M.

Your employer

An open letter to the Kenyan voter

Chapter 7 of the constitution, article 83 (1)a, b,c gives the qualifications for one to be registered as a voter. The IEBC for the past 20 days have set registration centres within counties for the purpose of registering voters. It is a civic duty to take part in politics and chose how it is you want to be governed. It is the only way you can choose representatives[whether they actually represent us is a different issue]. I hope that all those eligible to vote have registered or are in the process of doing so.

The same constitution in Chapter 6 on leadership and Integrity states among others the following,

73. (1) Authority assigned to a State officer—
(a) is a public trust to be exercised in a manner that—
(ii) demonstrates respect for the people;
(iii) brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office;
and
(iv) promotes public confidence in the integrity of the
office; and

(b) vests in the State officer the responsibility to serve the people, rather than the power to rule them.

(2) The guiding principles of leadership and integrity include—
(a) selection on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability, or election in free and fair elections;
(b) objectivity and impartiality in decision making, and in ensuring that decisions are not influenced by nepotism, favouritism, other improper motives or corrupt practices;
(c) selfless service based solely on the public interest, demonstrated by—
(i) honesty in the execution of public duties; and
(ii) the declaration of any personal interest that may conflict with public duties;
(d) accountability to the public for decisions and actions; and
(e) discipline and commitment in service to the people.

Having read the above proviso, on whose interest is the duo of Ruto and Uhuru running? Rules of natural justice demand that a man  be treated as innocent till proven guilty, the two gentlemen have a pending case at the ICC, accused of, among others, forceful transfer of people, rape and other crimes against humanity. Their interest in the presidency in the coming general election is not driven by a desire to serve the country but to scuttle the process of justice. They are joined in this unholy alliance by Bashir, who sees nothing wrong with the continued killing of citizens in Darfur and walks free even with an ICC indictment. The duo, Uhuru- Ruto have stirred ethnic passions that we no longer look at the real issues at stake but treat this as a case of them against us.

Good people of Kenya, wake up. It is the time to say no once for all to say to impunity, disregard of the law, tribalism, power for its sake and to say yes to progress, to development and prosperity. In 2010 we enacted a new constitution that among others sought to improve our representation, devolve the structure of government and expand our freedoms, the two gentlemen traversing the country at that time campaigned and voted against the entire document. They asked you not to pass it, but you did so overwhelmingly. You are being called again to rise and defend that which lives have been lost fighting for. Now is the time. Now is the moment. Time will judge us unfairly if we squander the moment that history has given us to say definitively that we will not once again be ruled by barbarians.

On March 4th when you go to vote, this question should linger on your mind; do you want your president and his deputy to be sitting at the Hague answering to charges of crimes against humanity, do you want to wake up with sanctions from our development partners, loss of funding for healthcare projects, education, agriculture, sanctions on trade and loss of bilateral trade? These are the questions you must answer as you cast your vote.

The first president, Jomo Kenyatta, so plundered the country that his son hasn’t the need to steal. I can’t hold that against him, but I ask, has he or his family returned the vast acres of land that his family owns? I don’t think so. The family has enough money and resources to buy the support of everyone, even his ardent enemies are cowed in his presence. Please use your conscience, take all the money you can but please vote for a better future.

It is not an election against the Kikuyu, the Kikuyu as a community are not vying for the presidency, no it’s an individual and I know that a broke Kikuyu and a broke Luo are all broke. Should it happen that you vote this duo to State House, you will have to find a market for your flowers, your tea and all those things that are produced for the export market. The trade between Kenya ans Sudan will not be sufficient to support the economy, think critically about this and make a choice.

The political coalitions that have sprung leave me very sad. I can tell you the politicians don’t represent us, they don’t care about you or me. They play mind games with us. They stir passions of hate between us but remain friends. Look at the marriage between Raila and Kalonzo. The last four years the two have gone at each others jugular only to come together for the sake of numbers, not ideology. Don’t allow yourself to believe that they represent change, nothing, they want power for the sake of power. They will marry anyone as long as they bring numbers even if their ideologies are as parallel as lines of longitude. They could be a safe bet but nothing more than that. They are part of the old guard, they have swindled us from the word go, some like Kalonzo, since the days of one party rule and the rest since the repeal of Chapter 2A of the old constitution. These ladies and gentlemen are lying to you when they claim to represent you, they don’t. Did any one of them speak when there was transport crisis? Has anyone offered a way forward of dealing with run away insecurity, perennial food shortages, runaway prices of commodity, you bet none. They are concerned more with how they can continue to line their wallets with money that you work so hard to raise.

They shed crocodile tears when one of them dies, they lower the national flag, declare a day of mourning, they raise funds for the bereaved families and bring the nation to a standstill with their cars when they attend the funerals. When more than 100 people, hardworking citizens, were killed in their sleep in their homes, the flag was not flown at half mast, no day of national mourning was declared. When one of them dies in an accident we have commissions of inquiry. They are our employees, and rule with our permission. We can’t keep worshiping the politician, he does not get his power from a deity! He answers to you and me, the represented.

They ask you to be patriotic when they take the country to war, they don’t care about you. They care about profits. They position themselves to get the contracts to supply the weapons, they send your brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to the front-line to die while their sons and daughters go to international universities from where they will come to rule you. You are misled to believe you are in a democracy, it’s a sham. You must free yourselves from it. No family can claim to want to rule throughout as if leadership and talent are hereditary.

They pay lip service to workers demands, they know they can afford to fly to seek medicare elsewhere when your nurses, doctors and other staff go on strike. They pay lip service to professional bodies. Lecturers, teachers and lawyers can all picket but none of them will talk about it. Their sons and daughters are abroad attending school where lecturers hardly ever go on strike. They pay lip service to dock workers, they do not care that the operations at the port affect prices of commodities and trade between our partners in East Africa, no, that is not important to them. They are concerned with how they can amend the law to steal from you and me. We can’t keep supporting their bad habits, no we must say no once and for all.

It is time for a revolt, let the March plebiscite be a warning to the politicians. Let us say no to tyranny of money. Let us say no to despots. Let us say no to abuse of the rule of law, to tribalism, to nepotism, to corruption, to social ills that make it impossible for a child born in Turkana to get to university. Let us vow that once and for all we will change the direction our country will take and when it is all said and done, let us all join hands in congratulating ourselves for a work well done.