Mr President, I hope this finds you well and in good health.
Since six in the morning I have been at this small Mbila Market here in Makueni. On my old motorbike longing for a single passenger to come along. It’s 11am now and none has come.
My mouth is still bitter and dry. At home, my kids eagerly await their father to return home with a bite. They had to sleep hungry yesternight after askaris arrested me and demanded Ksh 2000 bribe.
I was left penniless. Helpless. Hopeless.
For the background, I bought this motorbike, courtesy to former President Mwai Kibaki for lowering the taxes. Then business was promising. Fuel was low. Passengers paid without much bargains. Profits were realized. Life was somehow tolerable unlike now.
Mr President, am so sorry should the grim and sordid contents of this letter mess up with your royal appetite today. But they told me we painfully pay you with our taxes so that you can fairly and justly represent/address the interests of all Kenyans, including US.
Officially, I mean to address the office of the presidency rather than the occupant. So kindly bear with me for a while longer Sir.
Anyway, under this scorching sun, with a scorched stomach, agonized soul and afraid of tomorrow I write to you Mr. Head of State. That maybe, as you prepare your MADARAKA DAY SPEECH, you may desist from your ordinary illusionary verbose as you are used to on such epochal days.
If I may remind you Mr.President, about a century ago Wazungus came over to our blessed motherland. To them Kenya’s highlands and lowlands, the entire sphere was like an undiscovered voluptuous virgin.
They snatched her from our grandfathers then repeatedly raped her to their gratification. Not so long after, our ancestors realized they couldn’t guarantee the wellbeing of their children because the fertile lands and other resources were stolen.
When they discovered they had been turned into hard labourers to enrich the Wazungu oppressors,
When they realized that the Mzungu taxed and overtaxed them so as to sustain his high end extravagant lifestyle,
When they finally realized that the mzungu’s agenda was to enrich self on the sweat and blood of the poor Kenyan taxpayer,
Then in one spirit and mind they arose and said “Enough is Enough, We Demand Back our Nation.”
Mr. President, do you realize how amazing it was that they forgot their ethnic clusters and together fought for a New Free Kenya. As distraught as I am, I must admit this fact illuminates my face with a ray of hope.
Yes. As I imagine how a hungry Luo fought alongside a hungry landless Kikuyu. How a disillusioned Nandi armed self and teamed with a ungaless Maragoli to fight the inhuman oppressive regime.
Indeed I marvel at the incredible power of calamity. How it binds its common victims together into one. In spite of their differences, they suddenly realized they were One People.
You see, hunger knows no tribe. A hungry Luo in Nyanza, a hungry Kikuyu in Kirinyaga and a hungry Nandi from the Rift belong to only one tribe; the Hungry Tribe. Hunger, oppression and abuse magically thaws ethnic walls resulting to only one tribe; the tribe of the Nobody’s.
In short Mr.President, when the Nobody’s couldn’t take any more of their oppressors’ bullshit and closed ranks to fight a common enemy, it resulted to Madaraka(internal self rule).
My disappointment Mr.President is that, the Madaraka dream of our grandfathers has now been hijacked by a heartless gang of political bandits masquerading as leaders yet more venomous than the Wazungus.
Sir, when they sacrificed their blood and lifes, they did not envision a Madaraka that would be a mockery to their 50 million hungry, hopeless and helpless grandchildren as it is today.
Their dream Madaraka was not one whereby, the Head of State, after a sumptuous royal brunch, with pomp and glory rides into a stadium packed with thousands of cheering hungry, poor, malnourished and disillusioned masses. No.
Their Madaraka Day dream was not one whereby the president as if caught up in a rare spiritualistic trance musically chants a long monotonous speech about an imaginary paradisaical country to millions of hungry and desperate masses languishing in the real world; the forgotten Nobodys of Kenya.
Mr. President, on the contrary, Madaraka to them meant that the Nobodys could finally be Somebodys. That the Wananchi could become the Wenyenchi.
So that the poor may own their land, their nation, their government, their resources, their taxes and develop themselves; ourselves.
The idea was that food may be accessible for everyone. That education, economic empowerment and social protection may be guaranteed by the government.
They did not visualize a motherland where a senseless and shameless gang of a few, aided by their mothers, fathers, children and cronies would hijack the public resources and continue fleecing the poor to finance their lavish lifestyles as the Wazungus did. State Capture in the words of economist Dr. David Ndii.
In fact, to some extend the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta seemed to understand Kenyans needed not too much ‘English’ on Madaraka Days but simple Swahili speeches that ordered a drop in basic commodity prices.
More often than not did he lower unga, maize, milk, sugar and rice prices to mark such celebrations.
Mr. President, what is there to mark this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations? A broke country begging the World Bank for more to finance graft?
When a government can’t be satisfied with local revenue loot and goes international begging to feed their gigantic gluttonous gullets then that nation is headed to the dogs among failed states.
When a nation out borrows itself, it is simply doomed. With its people.
Mr. President, you may deceive yourself that Kenya is comfortable because selfish Raila Odinga dines and drinks at your table now. (I heard on radio that the people who demonstrated in the streets until he got that share are angry and hungry now. Rumours have it that they will never follow anyone who goes gratifying his royal appetites with royal food again).
But if the vast army of nearly 50 million hungry, jobless and disillusioned grandchildren of the fallen freedom fighters are not at that table, Kenya is far from the real Madaraka.
If my grandfather, Mekatilili Wa Meza, Orkoiyot arap Samoei, Field Marshals Musa Mwariama and Dedan Kimanthi and thousands of other slain freedom fighters woke up to our daily grand graft headlines of our newspapers today, I doubt they would bless your presidency.
I doubt they would bless you and your cronies. I doubt they would bless your ministers and their assistants who have defined and institutionalized the art of modern organized thuggery and grand graft.
Lately in my dreams, I often see a vast army of these fallen heroes rising to demand back a sane nation for their grandchildren. They may be dead but the same spirit that loved and died for this nation demands for the real Madaraka through their grandchildren.
Their spirit of nationalism is not dead Mr.President. It speaks.
My fellow bodaboda rider(Mwendwa) here says it speaks to him daily.
I saw and heard it speak on TV through an elderly thirsty and hungry Samburu woman.
I was in Kisumu last year and I heard the spirit speak through some fishermen who are daily molested and assaulted by Ugandan police in Migingo.
Even yesterday, the Mama Mboga where I usually borrow sukuma wiki told me the spirit keeps speaking to her.
I personally hear it sound and clear. It says, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, DEMAND BACK YOUR NATION, DEMAND THE TRUE MADARAKA, DEMAND A NEW KENYA.”
I can’t hold it back anymore. It burns my heart. Am sorry Mr. President but I feel like shouting it at the middle of this small dilapidated market.
GIVE ME THE REAL MADARAKA. I DEMAND A NEW KENYA.
Mr.President, sack your rotten cabinet and sweep clean the stinking dirt that will mar your legacy. They have become like the Wazungus.
They are raping our once beautiful nation. Smoke out Harambee House and State House and every government office. Smoke them out.
Hang the real thieves and their sympathizers. Why associate yourself with international fake gold idlers and cons? Why become a protector of the bandits and oppressors who torment the Nobody’s? Salvage what little is left of your legacy and of our nation.
Somebody must arrest the situation and it is you. Lower unga and food prices like Jomo Kenyatta did. Feed the hungry, water the thirsty, treat the sick and give jobs to the desperate suicidal youths that you may have longer peaceful days on earth.
Resist the temptation to self aggrandizement and uncontrollable appetite for food and drink at the expense of malnourished and starving taxpayers’ money. Avert that curse from yourself.
Be the protector of the poor not the plunderers. Don’t let power blur your brains. Kenya belongs to Kenyans not the St.Marys buddies or any other mafia.Remember the God of the majority poor slumbers not and be their good shepherd.
Am sorry Mr.President but I must cut short my letter. Owino, my former high school classmate, now a jobless graduate begs me for a lift to his sisters home. He just arrived from Rapogi to collect some foodstuffs for his younger siblings back home. He’s hungry, helpless and hopeless too.
As I switch on my bike radio and ride him home, WE expect to hear two things at the one o’clock news bulletin; either you call off the Madaraka Day celebrations or you GIVE US THE REAL MADARAKA.
“US” because I don’t want to eat and prosper alone like they have done.
“US” because hunger, oppression and disillusionment has easily thawed those ethnic walls making us one big nation; the Nobody’s.
We will write back again and again in a conversation aimed at achieving a New Kenya. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
A grandson of a freedom fighter,
A desperate and tired voter,
A distraught boda boda rider.