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Mr President, Here is my wishlist for your second year

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta

Your Excellency,

How time flies! We are on to the second year of your tenancy at the house on the hill.

Much has been said about your first year in office — by yourself, your crew, critics, columnists, talking heads on telly, bloggers — really everyone with an opinion.

Heading into the second year, I wish to present my wish list for the next 365 years. Think of this as an agenda setting session that normally, our supervisors, in cahoots with the HR types, would subject all of us to at the beginning of the year. This is just me trying to act like your boss (read voter and citizen of Kenya).

For starters, I hope the energy that you have brought forth, together with the First Lady and the Deputy President, does not fizzle out. Let it increase manifold and run over . I am glad that the First Lady has hit the ground running literally — at the London Marathon 2014. Please pass my kind regards to the good lady.

While at it, we hope to see this energy in dealing with the things that matter to the rest of us. You have been praised for being in tune with the rest of us ordinary Kenyans (as many of your ilk are wont to call us). If only you matched this with tangible action. Just in case you are not sure what I am referring to, I will give you my wish list:

  • Please do something about the heavy taxation and make life more affordable for the rest of us. We do not have to wait for 2030 to deliver a high quality of life for us all. Do we?
  • Please assure safety and security for ourselves and our loved ones — let us go back to those days when houses of worship were safe havens and we did not have to endure sessions reminding us of security exits and what to do in case of an emergency like we did at my church last Sunday.
  • Also, while I acknowledge that it is not the job of the government to create jobs, please make it conducive for the private sector to spawn employment opportunities for our relatives — that way, the rest of us will have less dependents. Tax them less.
  • Mr President; it would help to do something about the many promises that you made to the People of Kenya. Of key importance are the laptops for Standard One pupils. Between me and you, this could just be your legacy.

In conclusion, I would suggest that this year you seriously walk the talk with regard to fighting graft. It pains as a taxpayer, to hear that your taxes are lining pockets of an unscrupulous civil servant. Please convince us that your administration is not just paying lip service to fighting this vice.

All the best, Mr President.

Citizen number 2******0

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Excuse me Mr Governor, Devolution was never meant to enrich yourselves

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta poses with governors and other government officials at State House, Nairobi. Source: Coastweek.com

Your Excellencies,

Let me begin by acknowledging your exquisite tastes as demonstrated in your days in office. From big cars and preference for putting up in hotels with fat entertainment perks to boot, you have outdone yourselves! If your dreams as outlined in the county budgets are anything to go by, then we are in for a lesson in the lifestyles of the rich and powerful.

I am informed that in living up to this billing, an audit report of your expenditure between July and September 2013, found that about half of you only lavished yourself in allowances, travel, with no thought of development of your respective counties, which in my humble opinion, would be a key pursuit. And you are not yet done with us – you still want more cash.

While I am disappointed, and deservedly so, it is hardly surprising based on the kind of demands you were making last year. I do not quite remember what became of your ill-conceiveddemand for a large fully furnished and staffed office in Nairobi ostensibly to ‘attract investors’. This is after winning the fight for public buildings in which to set up your bases in respective counties. Boy, don’t you love the fine things in life!

However, and which is the reason am penning this note, I wish to remind you a fact that you seem to be blinded to in your quest for the very best that your good office can get. All that you are enjoying is at my (and other taxpayers’) expense. For this reason, we demand that you keep your eye to the ball – which is development projects that benefit us. The key objective of devolutionis not to attend to your tastes, but to take development closer to the people.

Of course, popular opinion has it that you, the political elite, will continue having your way for as long as you have deep pockets that can buy our support and votes come the next election. However, do not be too sure. The Kenyan voter is evolving.

Kenyan voters queue to cast their vote during the March 2013 general elections. Source: Capitalfm.co.ke

In conclusion, I leave you with the sagely words of our former president Mwai Kibaki: “Some people got devolution wrongly. Let us quote the Constitution as it is. Remember that our ultimate objective is to serve the people of Kenya and to improve their economic and social welfare”.

A Happy and Prosperous 2014, Gentlemen. Hope you focus!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Open Letter to Former President Moi: Your story is an inspiration

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Dear Sir,

I hope you find some time to read this note.

I was inspired to write this today as we commemorated this day, which was once upon a time a public holiday known as ‘Moi Day’.

This was after I stumbled upon your brief biography on the official State House website, as the rest of the country whined, ranted and raved on social media about the missed opportunity for a day off work.

For the better part of the day, after reading your profile, I have been reflecting on the story of your life, which is a great inspiration to the Kenyan people. Nothing is as inspiring as the story of a man, who rose from a humble background, surmounted all manner of challenges, to become the Second President of the Republic of Kenya.

It has been about a decade since you called it a day, and handed over the reins of power to Mwai Kibaki. Much has been said about your 24 year reign – both good and bad.

However, not much is said about your person and the triumph against all odds and frustrations, right from childhood.

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That you walked many miles to get to school as a little boy, did not hinder you from ascending to the highest office in the land, is indeed great motivation. And that, even after you were denied the chance to join Alliance High School, after being selected, did not stop you from making the most out of the opportunity that you got to join a teachers’ training college, eventually becoming Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in Kenya.

Such are the virtues that we, the young people of this country need to borrow – determination, persistence, passion, patience, tolerance, and the list goes on.

In conclusion, I wish to make a small request – how about penning the story of your life? I am sure that the lessons and inspiration would be enormous.

Yours,

Fellow Kenyan

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Open Letter to Fellow Kenyans: Let’s Keep Peace and Prove the Pessimists Wrong

Peace

Let’s Keep Peace

Fellow Kenyans,

The big day is finally here! The day that we have all been waiting for – March 4, 2013 – is nigh. This is the day when we will decide who leads our country for the next five years,

Everyone is keenly watching if we will pull these elections off without violence. The world is watching our every move. We are talk of the world. We are under very close scrutiny.

Of course the naysayers are at it again – pontificating about how Kenya will go up in flames after elections. The web is awash with rumours, innuendo and claims of chaos waiting to happen. International news media is on high alert for that breaking story that will be us fighting!

Dear Compatriots, I know there is this blot in our history that is the post-election violence that followed the 2007 elections. However, I am convinced that we can conduct elections in peace – we have always done (besides 2007/ 08) and we can do it again. It is my hope and prayer that we will remain one united and peaceful country after the polls.

Come on, let us do it. We owe it to ourselves, to our country, and our children and our children’s children. Let us maintain peace. Let us show the world that we are the island of peace that we have always been. Let us shame the prophets of doom who believe that we will erupt into chaos again.

Let us keep the peace. I know we can.

I leave you with the solemn words of our national anthem

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Yours,

Fellow Kenyan

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Open Letter to African Heads of State: Let Africa’s common good prevail in election of AU Commission Chairperson

African heads of state pose after a past meeting. Photo/ au.int

Ladies and gentlemen,

Receive my warm wishes, as you congregate in Addis Ababa to, among other things, select a new person to head the African Union commission.

In as much as I trust your wisdom and judgment, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, allow me to add my voice on this matter. As you cast your votes for the leadership of the continental body, I pray that wisdom and Africa’s common good is placed way above everything else.

Your Excellencies, as you may have noted, in recent days, the continent has been treated to drama as campaigns for the position of chairperson at the African Union commission hit a crescendo. The fight that has moved from diplomatic meetings to the media has even begun getting murky leading to accusations and counter-accusations. Now, the penultimate is here with us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as you make this choice, think about the 1 billion African people, whom you lead, and the kind of future they are hoping for from you; as well as the role that the African Union can play in this, and the kind of leadership that will deliver it.

Africa is no longer the passive by stander in global geo-politics, and it is through unions like the African Union that the African people can exert their authority in the world affairs. We need an African Union that will be strong enough to stand up and not only push the African agenda on the global stage, but also be a brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, rebuking and correcting those who depart from the straight and narrow.

Dear Presidents, having said that I beg to rest my case. I know you are incredibly busy people, by virtue of the very important positions that you hold. In conclusion, I leave you with the words of Condoleezza Rice in her memoir No Higher Honour: “Today’s headlines and history’s judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter”.

Yours Faithfully,

Fellow son of the soil

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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An Open Letter to President Joyce Banda of Malawi: You go, girl!

I hope it is not too late to proffer my congratulations on your ascension to high office as the president of Malawi.

Madam President, for the short time that you have been in office, you have made me, and I am sure many other Africans who are as passionate about the motherland, very proud.

Your Excellency, as the old adage says, ‘actions speak louder than words’, your deeds lately, have spoken and the world has heard. Please accept my congratulations for the bold steps you have taken.

Of course there have been the naysayers who, in the decisions you have made, only see a desire to please donors. Well, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but isn’t disposing off fuel guzzling limousines and a luxurious jet good for the country? Isn’t putting your foot down and calling for a respect of the rule of international law and conventions, good for the world?

In my opinion, you have earned your place in the annals of history for daring to stand for what you believe in, even if it is unpopular with your fellow presidents.

Between me and you, I do not understand the logic behind shifting the AU summit from your Lilongwe backyard to Addis Ababa, just to accommodate Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir? Anyway, it is the prerogative of the secretariat and only them know the reason behind the decision

Heads of state pose after AU meeting. Photo/ au.int

What mere mortals, like me, could do is to urge on voices of reason like yours. You go, girl!

In conclusion, I leave you with the words of Moeletsi Mbeki, an illustrious son of the soil. In his book, Advocates for Change, he defines a leader as ‘someone who identifies political and/ or economic situations that can lead to the solution of overwhelming social problems or challenges facing his or her community and persuades others to work with him or her to implement those solutions’.

Yours

Fellow African

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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An Open Letter to university managers across the world: What’s with the dishing of honorary degrees?

Dear Sirs and Madams,

Let me begin by congratulating you all for your sterling role in fighting ignorance, one of the main vices that the founding fathers (and mothers) of many African nations set out to eradicate from our countries at independence. The growing numbers of people in universities speak volumes about your sterling performance in not only achieving this target, but also churning the manpower to run our economies.

However, lately, I have been somewhat disappointed by a disturbing trend amongst you – the higher education fraternity. This is with regard to the arbitrary dishing out of honorary degrees. It almost seems as if there is a competition amongst you to see who will dish out the largest number of honorary degrees.

In recent days, you have hurled honorary degree after honorary degree at individuals, ostensibly for their ‘contributions to society’. From political leaders to business executives, everyone seems to have an honorary degree with the coveted ‘DR’ before their names. Soon, we will all be holders of honorary doctorates because the threshold you have for earning one is way too low.

Granted, service to humanity need to be recognized but my humble submission is that the criteria of identifying deserving individuals to whom the hallowed academic papers are doled, need to be revisited. The academics will tell you that a doctorate usually cost blood, sweat and tears to earn. For this reason, their integrity needs to be safeguarded. The only way that the honorary degrees will retain their value as a mark of distinction, exemplary performance, outstanding capability, and contribution that is unique and overly beneficial to the humanity.

In conclusion, I leave you with the words of development expert, Kenn Okwaroh, “Like medals to achievers, honorary degrees are important and should be accorded the respect that they so deserve”.

Yours

Curious Student

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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