By: Hon Koigi Wa Wamwere
Though I donâ€™t agree with everything you did to get elected, I must acknowledge your electoral victory and accept your new status as President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto. Thereafter, I wish to write you an open letter.
First, since you are in power, Destiny could have put you there for good or bad but we hope for good. If it is for good, let us seek that good early. If it is for bad, it pays to be forewarned.
Second, when Moi became president, Wanguhu Ngâ€™angâ€™a gave him a copy of â€œThe Princeâ€ by Niccolo Machiavelli as a gift to help him keep power and govern. When things started to go wrong, I wished Ngâ€™angâ€™a had given him a copy of the Bible. It would have given him more wisdom than cunning.
Before people start giving Uhuru and Ruto gifts like The Prince, let me advise that, like the late President Nyerere of Tanzania and other good leaders, let Uhuru and Ruto buy themselves a copy of the Bible and with progressive interpretation, make it their closest companion.
From the good book, Uhuru and Ruto will learn that after a change of leadership, people have a right to go to the new leaders, not just to praise them, but also ask them to govern them better than their predecessors.
When King Solomon died and his young son Jeroboam succeeded him as king, elders from the 12 tribes of Israel sent a delegation to him to ask: â€œYour father Solomon treated us harshly and placed heavy burdens on us. If you make these burdens lighter and make life easier for us, we will be your loyal subjects.â€ Three days later, King Jeroboam answered them thus: â€œMy father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with whips; Iâ€™ll flog you with bullwhipsâ€¦â€ With that eleven tribes of Israel rebelled from the rule of King Jeroboam.
Jomo Kenyatta, your father was the first president of Kenya. You are now the fourth president. Will President Uhuru rule better than President Kenyatta? Having placed heavy burdens on some people, will you make their burdens lighter or will you dismiss those seeking better governance as Jeroboam did?
When I write to ask questions that suggest criticism, it is because I want the government to succeed even if I am proven wrong. In the past, we said â€œourâ€ governments would fail and they did. When we now say your government may not make Kenya the Promised Land, it is only because we wish it could succeed but fear it might not.
More importantly President Uhuru, where do you want to take me and other Kenyans?
Kenyans may not remember but 50 years ago, your father Jomo Kenyatta, like Moses, put Kenyans on a journey from the Egypt of British colonialism to the Promised Land of milk and honey but died before they got there and left them in the desert of poverty. But your father, family and few elite got into Canaan through a back door. The poor are still in the desert. And though they are not asking, how will you take them to Canaan?
After missing the first opportunity of reaching The Promised Land after independence, Kenyans gave themselves a second opportunity to reach Canaan by a new constitutional road map to The Promised Land. But people were to elect Joshua and Caleb to take them to the Promised Land. Mr. President Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto, would you say you are the Joshua and Caleb that Kenyans need to get to Canaan? I believe you are not, but you can prove me wrong.
During elections, Kikuyus, Kalenjins, Kambas, Luos and Luhyas did not elect Joshua and Caleb to take them to the Promised Land. They elected ethnic kings, each for every tribe. And ethnic kings are all King Saul elected against Samuelâ€™s advice â€“ A king â€œwill take your best fields, vineyardsâ€¦and give them to his officersâ€¦ He will take a tenth of your grainâ€¦ He will take a tenth of your flocks. And you yourselves will become his slaves.â€ But the people said: â€œNo! We want a king, so we can be like other nations.â€ So Your Excellency, have considered that you are our king, not Joshua. What really did you want â€“ to be our king or Joshua? If you are our king not Joshua, have you not put us many years back?
During campaigns, because of your case at ICC, you put your agenda before interests of the people who agreed to subordinate their interests to yours and made you president without demanding anything from you. Will you now put the interests of Kenyans before yours?
Finally, whatever development you promise Kenyans, none will materialize if you donâ€™t eradicate corruption and negative ethnicity. Do you have the moral and revolutionary courage to commit class suicide and do battle with the dragon of graft? On 4th March, you rode to an electoral victory on the back of the tiger of negative ethnicity? Will you be ungrateful and slaughter him now? And do you still want to meet Fidel Castro of Cuba before any other world leader? If he converts you into a revolutionary, we shall become â€œcomrades.â€