Posted in Kenya

My Dear Kenyans

It’s that time again when politicians come begging for your vote. This letter is not meant to tell you who the best candidate is or who has the best manifesto.

It’s about what truly matters in life.

What do you really care about? I’m betting you’ll say your family, friends and doing the best you can with whatever skills and talents God gave you.

Elections come and go. Politicians come and go. But when you’re really in trouble, it’s that neighbour that you count on to help – the one Mr Politician is telling you is your enemy, responsible for all the crappy things that have happened to you.

When your child gets sick in the middle of the night and needs to be rushed to the nearest hospital, it’s that neighbour you will turn to, not Mr Politician who will be snoring in his palatial residence in Muthaiga, ringed with an electric fence and guard dogs.

At your hour of greatest need, I bet you won’t care what tribe that neighbour is. All you’ll want to know is if he can use his car, matatu, boda boda or mkokoteni to take your child to hospital.

Mama, when you run out of salt, it’s that same neighbour you turn to.

I work in media and I will let you in on a secret. Do you remember the debate that was held at Grand Regency (now Laico Regency) prior to the 2007 elections? It was aired live on several TV stations so I’m sure you saw it.

During the debate, those politicians went at each other hammer and tongs. Their arguments were so fierce, I was afraid they would resort to physical blows, until the commercial break.

Without the cameras rolling, they roared with laughter, patted each other on the back and gave each other high fives as if for a job well done. Once the debate resumed, it was back to verbal war.

Perhaps you already knew this.

Here is another example. Once the hostilities had ended and parliament was sworn in, with all the theatrics involved, the MPs retreated to the garden party. Here again it was laughter and camaraderie.

Hard to believe these were the same people who had driven us to hack each other to death using machetes or burn each other alive.

When politicians want to do business with each other or when their children are getting married (within the political class), tribe or religion is never an issue. It only becomes an issue when it’s time to elect Mheshimiwa and Mtukufu Rais.

But that’s Mr Politician for you. He or she wants power at all costs. You are just a number, one of multitudes who he counts on to keep him in power. Once that is done, he forgets about you for five years.

So this time round, please remember what is important. If Mr Politician tries to incite you, tell him to get lost.

They are at most a million. We are 38 million. We outnumber them. We can show them who is boss. So let’s just do it.

Let’s take back our country from the politicians.

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