By C A Luanda Magere
Dear bwana commissioner,
Once upon a time in our land, there lived a man called Hezekiah Nelson Oyugi Ogango. To say he was powerful is to grossly understate facts. He exercised power like a leopard on steroids. From senior ministers to the DO, a phone call from the powerman was equal to your mother’s funeral. The Luo called him “Kalam Maduong”. The big pen. Because he could write you to any job and delete you from any job. He was so feared that few dared to pronounce his real name.
Once Moi came to Onjiko High School in my village to open a new AIC Church building. After his usuall speeches calling us “watu wa kuyumbayumba bila msimamo…nashangaa sana na nyinyi Wajaluo”, Moi turned to Oyugi and said “Mimi ule Mjaluo naamini pekee yake ni Oyugi”. That was a rare statement of confidence from the old man.
But by the time he died in London, he was lonely and abandoned. They avoided him like the plague. His body was brought home in a paperbag. His burial was a small affair. The way we bury people who had never gone beyond Awasi. No government man appeared. The power was gone forever. Kalam Maduong’ was buried like Kudni Matin. It was surreal.
This is the tragedy of people who choose to do any regime’s dirty work. You soon enough get too powerful and have to go, or you get to know too much and have to go. You also forget the cardinal rule of never outshining your master. And then the countdown to your fall begins.
Nelson Marwa. The man looks exactly the way he behaves, so when he speaks, you don’t really get surprised. He has arrogated himself the role of Kalam Maduong, Bunde Maduong and all other Maduongs. Of course he is a tiny fraction of what Oyugi was. Ni mtu mdogo sana. But you get the impression that either he had a rough childhood and feels the need to bully people in later life, or he has another problem that only Marco Rubio can define properly. But Marwa serves at the pleasure of one man, while Joho is a representative of the people. For as long as the people will it, Joho might have a job for the next 50 years, while Marwa might just outlive his usefulness as early as today. They never see things this way, these tin pot dictators with a swagger stick!
When his time comes, Marwa will be a small, forgotten footnote in the history of the Republic. Just like Oyugi before him. Or many others like Murungaru. History tends to be kinder to those who fight for freedom, not those who try to take it away.
Wewe ni mtu mdogo sana Nelson Marwa!