- First of all, I must introduce myself. I am not Kenyan. Instead, I am African, Africanist, Pan-Africanist, East African and Tanzanian. Again, as the Kiswahili sage has it that aliyeko nje ya uwanja anauona vizuri mchezo (loosely translated, spectators see the game clearer), I am in a position of seeing things Kenyans cannot easily see; and if they see they do so differently from myself due to the fact that I am not a party to the ongoing imbroglio.
Dear President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Premier Raila Odinga:
First of all, I must introduce myself. I am not Kenyan. Instead, I am African, Africanist, Pan-Africanist, East African and Tanzanian. Again, as the Kiswahili sage has it that aliyeko nje ya uwanja anauona vizuri mchezo (loosely translated, spectators see the game clearer), I am in a position of seeing things Kenyans cannot easily see; and if they see they do so differently from myself due to the fact that I am not a party to the ongoing imbroglio.
I, therefore, pray for your attention, underscoring the fact that I do not have any stake in your politics, except the regional peace and prosperity. I am thus writing as a friend of Kenya, a neighbour and a member of the family of the East African Community (EAC).
Allow me to humbly address you as follows:
First, let me congratulate you on completing the August 8 elections peacefully; and following the law in settling your political differences.
Second, let me tell you this. Kenyans did their bit in the said elections by voting peacefully and massively. So, too, did the court that constitutionally entertained and looked into your grievances so as to come up with the annulment of the results of the said elections; sad, however, it may be. Now that the presidential results were annulled due to what the Supreme Court of Kenya termed as ‘illegalities and irregularities’ which sent Kenya back to the drawing board, please, as Kenyans and leaders, show exemplary leadership by seeking modus vivendi that will pull Kenya out of the impasse it is into.
I know, power is sweet and beautiful. Again, Kenya is sweeter and more important than powers individuals seek. So, please put your dynastic and political competition aside, and put and think about Kenya first. Kenyans showed commendable peacefulness during voting and exemplary patience during the time of waiting for the results, and thereafter waiting for the Supreme Court to come up with its verdict. So, too, Kenyans have showed patience in the entire ominous period of waiting for the rerun. However, by the look of things, Kenyans’ patience is wearing thin due to your political rancour and scuffles.
Demos and altercations
Recent demos and altercations are but a sign of what is in store for the country shall sanity not prevail. There’s understanding in the conflict resolution field that there is an opportunity in conflict; if patties to it decided to seek it. You, too, still have an opportunity to turn the ongoing impasse into an opportunity for Kenya and Africa. Please make Africa, Kenya and yourselves proud. Instead of baying for each other’s blood, turn your swords into ploughshares. The Kiswahili sage has it that when two people compete, there is a winner and a loser. I would love to see a winner being Kenya and a loser being nobody. Kenya will always be there.
I fully and sincerely understand; you all would like to win and become President of this beautiful country. Again, there cannot be two presidents in one country. Therefore, as statesmen, you must allow democracy to apply so that Kenya can get one president. I don’t think that Kenyans deserve evidencing two bulls fighting to end up suffering the masses. Kenyans have offered their love to their country by fulfilling their constitutional duty. Now it is your turn to reciprocate positively by averting the country from cascading into the abyss pointlessly and wantonly simply because you cannot agree to disagree and see to it that Kenya is moving forward.
At this time one thing is needed, true love to the nation but not to power. I implore you to invoke the wisdom of one of the two women who were fighting over the ownership of a baby. When the true mother was told that King Solomon the wise, decided that the baby be split down in the middle so that every woman would take her half, the true mother conceded defeat in order to let the baby survive. The baby in this regard is Kenya, and the mothers are the two of you. I do not say that you must forgo your rights. Instead, I pray that you wise up and come up with the solution to the ongoing imbroglio.
For example, stop intimidating each other i.e. cutting some services such as security. Restrict your followers. Tell them the importance of peace for Kenya and the region. Distance yourselves from trading insults and the use of denting language of calling each other names. Consider the future of Kenya in your absence not to forget your legacies as the leaders of the nation.
God bless Kenya, God bless Africa God rein and show Kenya, Kenyans and their leaders the right choice and way.
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian writer who is based in Canada