Unite Us, Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

I am not one for political commentary, which is really silly seeing as words are the only way I know how to express myself, but I feel like the time has come for me to say something. This doesn’t mean that my words will mean much, I mean, I’m sitting here eating last night’s leftovers of ugali and sukuma wiki while your offspring (allegedly) racked up a bill of one point something million shillings for champagne to wash their hands in order to smoke two packets of Embassy Lights (which reminds me, I only have 5 sticks of those left). I feel that it’s time for me to say something because the potential and hope that most of us had when most of us elected you, even though that last bit was contested but that is not the point here, that potential, that hope, that belief that our country was going to go into heights of prosperity, has all but dissipated from our minds. I am sorry Your Excellency but I put the blame on you.

Now I am not saying that you have not done good things for this country. You have! The Standard Gauge Railway, fantastic! We are now over 50% connected to the power grid, although I might have a word or two to say about Kenya Power. Look at the roads you’ve built for us, and the enrolment in our schools by much needing children. You also beat the International Criminal Court emphasizing our sovereignty which clearly is a big deal for the Kenyan people. You have ensured that the fight against the Al Shabaab continues even though that has inadvertently caused a rise in terrorist attacks in our country killing hundreds of people. That war however has to continue, Al Shabaab has to be stopped. And not forgetting, you were selected as the Daily Maverick’s African of the Year in 2014. Not a small feat for the incredibly charismatic person you are.

My problem however is one of your biggest failures. You, Your Excellency, have failed to unite Kenyans. It was a part of your manifesto back in 2013. In fact, I think there was a whole chapter on “Umoja” (not to be confused with the estate). You were to use affirmative action to ensure that underrepresented and marginalized groups were properly represented in every respect. You were to ensure that all IDPs were settled and where possible returned to their homes in accordance with the law and have a decent place to live. You were to ensure that 30% of all appointees to public bodies and parastatals were women (HA!). You were also to actively promote the appointment of young people, persons living with disabilities and marginalized groups to public positions. All this was to tackle the challenge of Kenyan politics becoming mired in personal animosity as political competitors fail to conduct themselves in a professional and civilized manner. Too often this animosity being allowed to turn into ethnic rivalry with hate speech employed to rouse fear and despondency among different communities, all for political gain (from your manifesto).

This country is however more divided than ever before. We have the Jubilee Kikuyus and the Cord Luos (which would make me, as has been evidenced in recent past: Read Brexit, Jubord or Corilee). While you are not solely to blame for this, you are the head of state. You are my president. You are not a Jubilee president but the President of the Republic of Kenya. I am a Kenyan citizen (who happens to be gay but that is a conversation for another day) and I do not like the ethnic divisions I see in my country. You have failed to unite us when you take way too long to rebuke the hate speech spewed by some MP’s who support you. You have failed to unite us when you fail to uphold the 30% women appointees that you promised. You have failed to unite us when you pledge support for your Deputy President in 2022. I understand political pandering but by God, you are our President! You have failed to unite us when you see a country divided and take no visible steps to rectify it.

Your Excellency, firing your hashtag generators (while retaining the main one) is all well and good. But it is not enough. Fight corruption and let us actually see you doing it. Engage in dialogue with the opposition, who by the way are also on my [expletive deleted] list. Let us actually see some initiative in you, our President, in reducing the hate and division that is now plaguing this beautiful country that is so diverse and full of potential. Please Mr. President, let us not have our people brace for violence in 2017 which, I should tell you, we already are. Mr. President, I beg of you. UnitTribe kenyae us.


Concerned Citizen

Anthony Oluoch

I am a lawyer, a brother, a son, a friend, a neighbor, a confidant, a student of life and I am Kenyan. Became a human rights activist so suddenly sometimes I ask myself if this really is something I wanted. But I have come to embrace it. I have come to realize that I like what I do. That on some level, what I do makes life easier for someone and hopefully, eventually, for myself…Probably the best way to describe me is in the words of Winston Churchill, I am a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

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