An Open Letter To International Mediators
Re: Five Causes Of Our Crisis You Need To Know To Help Us
I write to you in the hope that this morning you will have a few moments to read this.
Though I have been in government, I write this letter as an ordinary Kenyan to welcome you to our country to help us. As the Swahili proverb says: mgeni karibu mwenyeji apone.
Primarily I write this letter because I know that we Kenyans, like other people have our pride and are shy to say some things about us. Yet those maybe the very things you need to know to help us. The following are five causes I consider key to the solution of our crisis.
One. Terrible Fear of Opponents
Your excellencies, we Kenyans call ourselves democratic but go to elections with a terrible fear of our opponents. Though we want to rule others, we have no wish to let others rule us. We rig our elections because we must win. And we must win because others must not rule us. Fear of Raila Odinga is well known and how much others detest Kikuyu rule is also known. To resolve our electoral dispute we must address these fears. Can you get our leaders to accept others to rule them?
Two. Unlimited Impunity of Dictatorship
In Kenya, power enjoys unlimited impunity. So far, corruption rules because people in power will never prosecute or punish themselves and will always get away with murder. But theft is not limited to money alone. People also steal elections or power. If our leaders stole elections, it is because they believe with their dictatorship, no one can touch them. If Kenyan people cannot punish thieves of election for lack of power, knowlegde and necessary impartiality, who will hold our leaders accountable? Your excellencies, can you help?
Three. Fighting Over A Tribal Presidency
In Kenya, we no longer have a national presidency to serve all but a tribal presidency that is seen to serve the president’s community only. Because our presidency is tribal, it is seen to belong not to all Kenyans but the president and his community or rather the elite of his community only. Even the poorest of the president’s community believe they too own the presidency. This is why our electory dispute is also an ethnic conflict. Every community wants to get the presidency for itself.
When President Kibaki was declared winner, the Kikuyu won and others lost. For the next five years, the Kikuyu believe they will have a government and others none. With a presidency, the Kikuyu believe they will have resources and others not.
Your excellencies, our communities are fighting over a tribal presidency they believe they must have to access jobs and other resources. Can you convince our leaders to form a presidency and government that is not tribal? Can you convince Kenyan communities to have faith in a government that is led by a president who does not come from their own community? Only a government that distributes jobs and resources equitably to all Kenyans, without killing merit, will bring peace and reconciliation to Kenyan communities. Can you ask our leaders to form such a government?
Four. Majimbo politics
Your excellencies, you may not know but majimbo politics or politics of ethnic federalism regard some Kenyans as foreigners where they live who must vote as locals do or be evicted out of their farms, have their homes burnt or be killed. Majimbo politics believe every community should live in its own ethnic state. In Rift Valley, Majimbo politics motivated goons from the local community to kill and evict other communities, but were triggered to do so by an electoral loss that they believed was caused by ungrateful foreigners. They killed to ethnically cleanse and make Rift Valley an ethnic state for themselves. Your excellencies, can you convince majimbo politicians in ODM to stop ethnic cleansing and urge government to protect and not evacuate Kenyans from their homes?
Five. Unleashing the Ideology of Genocide
Finally, due to ever increasing hostilities between communities, we have now perfected our tribalism into an ideology of genocide. When you compare the language of Rwandans when they were perpetrating genocide, it was exactly the same as ours today. Some communities are parasites while others are inferior. Only the dead are good from certain communities that must be cut down to size. Some people must never lead because they are uncircumsized. We may deny genocide as the US and the UN denied the Rwandan genocide but many in Rift Valley were killed because of the ideology of genocide. Your excellencies, can you help us before we become another Rwanda?
Koigi wa Wamwere, former MP for Subukia and a Founder Member of CCM. 20th January, 2008.