By K Osano
A search in some of my old files led me to the following Stirring Speech at the Kamukunji Grounds by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. It is funny that the more things change the more they remain the same. A great speech for the Kenya We Want.
Today we are testing freedom. This is the first time most of you are attending a political meeting of your own choice. This is the first time you are being addressed by people you have always wished to see stand before you and speak. This is the first time you are truly happy to remember that we struggled for independence and won. For UHURU means freedom; freedom for everybody: the poor, the rich, the disabled, the women, the children, the men, EVERYBODY.
It is the freedom to come together as we are doing today, discussing the future of our national. It is the freedom to feel perfectly safe as a Kenyan anywhere you live in this Republic, perfectly confident that your government will protect you and your property. That your children and your childrenâ€™s children will inherit the property you have honestly acquired in Kenya.
It is freedom to live an honest life. Speaking your mind in the Church, Mosque, press, parliament, the university, country council and even in the cabinet [without fearing for your life].
But, fellow Kenyans, ladies and gentlemen:
As we stand here today, there are many Kenyans who cannot be with us today because they do not have this freedom thirty years after UHURU was won.
Why is Kenneth Matiba not with us here today? Why is George Anyona, Edward Oyugi, Isaac Gachangu, Rumba Kinuthia, Koigi wa Wamwere, Ngotho Kariuki and many other freedom fighters not with us today?
Why are our sons and daughters still in exile? Why are brilliant people who can teach in our universities wasting their lives overseas? Why was Robert Ouko murdered? Was he murdered for speaking against corruption? Was he murdered for speaking his mind in the cabinet? For what reason was he murdered? And who murdered him?
Why was Muge murdered? Was it because he exercised his freedom to preach the word of God, to condemn sin and corruption?
The Moi government should answer these questions and answer them honestly and truthfully.
We demand that all political prisoners be released. We demand that those who are in exile return home unconditionally. We demand that every Kenyan be granted the freedom to travel inside and outside the country. That nobody be denied a passport.
As we gather here, there are many Kenyans who are refugees in their own country. There are many Kenyans who have lost their homes because they dared to support a political party of their choice. Houses have been bulldozed in Ongata Rongai like they were here in MWOROTO some time ago. Homes have been burnt in the Rift valley.
For these Kenyans who have lost their homes and houses there is no UHURU, no truth in being called a KENYAN CITIZEN.
We must restore FREEDOM to our country by removing the Moi government from power.
We must restore democracy for our people by freely electing a FORD government in the next General Elections.
The Moi govemnent cannot guarantee freedom for our people.
This is a Government that uses some security officers to terrorise our people and not to protect them.
This is a Government that tells lies and lives by the lie. Without TRUTH there can be no JUSTICE; and without justice no FREEDOM and without freedom, no DEVELOPMENT.
On Corruption and Development, we have seen how political repression under the Moi regime has encouraged and protected corruption.
We have seen how this corruption has destroyed development.
We have seen how billions of Kenyan Shillings have been wasted in ill advised investment projects because of corruption and bad government policies. We can here talk of the Turkwel Dam project, the molasses plant in Kisumu, the fiasco in the Post Office, the chaos in the Kenya Airways, and the nightmare in the Treasury.
We have seen how we have become a nation heavily in debt and almost incapable of servicing our loans. We have seen how our government has lost the moral authority to speak for this country in international financial bodies because its leaders are tinted with corruption.
We have seen how our professional civil servants have been thoroughly demoralised by the corruption, incompetence, and crudeness of the Moi regime. We have seen how foreign investors have lost faith in our country.
Let us open our hearts to each other.
Let us embrace the opportunities and challenge the future together. The clergy, the lawyers, the professionals, patriotic politicians, students, peasants and workers come together in challenging political repression. The battle is not yet over. The building of democracy has just begun. This is our hour of need. We must come together TODAY not TOMORROW.
THERE IS WORK FOR US TO DO. Let us do it with FORD in a democratic and proud Kenya. I want to stand on the slopes of the Aberdares and see far away into the rolling farmland of the Rift Valley. There I will see a proud Kenyan from Nandi, Keiyo-Marakwet and Kericho basking in the sun of political freedom and economic prosperity.
I want to drive to the coast, without potholes ruining my car; and there I will meet the Taita and the Taveta, the Swahili and the Giriama, proud to speak their various languages but knowing that they are all Kenyans with equal rights and opportunities in our sovereign Republic.
I want to climb Mount Elgon and see the Luo and the Abaluhia working in their sugar plantations, and knowing that they will be well rewarded for their sweat.
I want to come back to the slopes of Mount Kenya and drink fresh coffee from Kikuyu land knowing that our peasants are respected for the hard work they do. I want to see prosperous cooperative societies and a people who grow rich from their labours.
I want to be reminded that when the Akamba grow their cotton, the Gusii harvest their tea, the Masaai sell their cattle and the Somali export their camels they will ALL get a just reward for their labours. I want to know that every Kenyan enjoys justice and freedom in our motherland.
I want to come back to Nairobi, and meet businessmen from all communities. I do not want to hear that one is condemned for being industrious because he is of different colour or race. All I want to know is that he is a Kenyan and he is working for the success of Kenya.
I want him or her to ensure that our industries work at full capacity, feeding our people, giving them something to wear and providing them with housing. I want to know that our workers receive fair treatment and just wages, that they have trade unions free of state control.
I want to see professional associations enjoy the freedom we fought for.
I want to reassure myself that I will no longer say there is NOT YET UHURU for any Kenyan after FORD form the next government.
That is the Kenya I want. That is the Kenya we all want. That is the Kenya a FORD government will give you.â€