Kibaki, our third president is dead

And while most mediaoutlets are on about how he was the greatest after sliced bread and thermos flask, i am not boarding this train. If there was ever a man who had been given an opportunity to be great and squandered it, here lies on such man.

So, on the positive side, during his tenure, there was increased government spending that enabled the private sector, in many sectors of the economy, to prosper. The economy was on a positive trajectory in his first term but by the end of the second term, it was on a downward trajectory from where, following the mismanagement by the Hague duo, it hasn’t recovered.

He squandered the opportunity to steer the country away from nepotism by forming an inclusive government following the mandate he had been given by the people, instead, he filled the government with cronies and his Makerere associates.

He squandered an opportunity to address theft of public funds from the top by making it impossible for his anticorruption tzar to work. Instead he rewarded those who had been accused of wrongdoing.

By stealing elections and swearing himself in at night, he precipidated a breakdown in law and order leading to violence that exceeded previous clashes that were said to have government support in Moi error era of government terror.

He squandered an opportunity to see the rebirth of the nation, in his first term, through the birthing of a new constitution, instead, we recall the extra judicial murder of Dr. Mbai and many others whose deaths were not solved and will never be solved.

I will come back here to continue to remind ourselves of the failures of his regime.

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