To: My favourite Ambassador, Balozi Francis
Subject: Why you should resign
You know very well that I do not accept the blackmail of wazungus (neo-imperialists). I introduced free primary education in this country in 2003 despite stiff resistance from these very same wazungus, cloaked as economic experts of leading multilateral agencies. I have also been at the forefront of ensuring that they understand that my government can collect enough taxes locally and hence do without their so-called aid. In any event, we now have firmly established new beneficial friendships, such as with China. I think this may be one of the reasons they recently orchestrated the demise of my other new, good friend Muammar; in fact, you would know better given your extensive experience as a balozi.
Because of this, you do know my government will never be their favourite glass of warm whitecup. They have time and again sought to discredit me: do you remember them payukaring about “vomiting on our shoes” and hoodwinking and confusing that fine kijana who used to work in the corner office of my official residence so that he accused me of complicity over the outrage of Anglo Leasing? Did they not accuse me of stealing the 2007 general elections?
Now, they have gone ahead and falsely and maliciously accused me of meeting with the Mungiki in that same residence. In fact, they have also mistakenly indicated that you and my favourite kijana, son of my dearly lamented and departed mzee, were part of that meeting. Worse, they have incredibly proceeded to confirm charges against you and my favourite kijana; disregarding the glowing character reference I gave you and the analysis of our intelligence people.
It is always the same with these people: they always seem to think that they know better than us. Yet how would they make such a claim when, while insisting that the African mind was that of a child, they proceeded to award me a first class honours degree while at Makerere all those years back?
I digress; I guess it is upsetting that they have put me in such a fine pickle. In this instance, I have tried everything for you dear balozi and my favourite kijana. Did my government not attempt to establish a local tribunal so that we could manage these manenos (issues) in-house? I remember I even personally went out of my way to attend Parliament in an attempt to convince those vinyangarikas (vagabonds) who call themselves members of parliament to pass the required law. Did the cabinet not also propose that the TJRC, then headed by your fellow Ambassador Kiplagat, should be mandated to see into this issue? Have I not been requesting the United Nations Security Council to urgently consider deferring this matter? I even sent the Wiper (is it true that he is called Watermelon) shuttling around the continent to build solidarity with us.
And yet here we are: stranded. When I listened to the advice of the learned, professorial Attorney General, I was most delighted to hear him say that you and my favourite kijana could continue in office despite the ruling from the International Criminal Court confirming charges against you. He had, in his usual way, clothed it in masterful legal finery. But as I listen to the gathering storm resulting from this position, I have to let you know that I am painfully reconsidering it.
First, there is the small matter of that agreement I signed with the Right Honourable Prime Minister, as my co-principal in the coalition government to the effect that “The parties shall ensure that any person holding public office or any public servant charged with a criminal offense related to 2008 post-election violence shall be suspended from duty until the matter is adjudicated.” Yes, I know: you do not need to remind me that I have signed deals with him before and gently tucked them away without implementing them. His people are always screaming to remind me about the shameless immorality of discarding the MoU he and I signed in 2002 in order to cobble together the political coalition that toppled mama na baba.
Clearly, there is a problem with this approach of “benign neglect”: look at its consequences and how much political grief that discarded MoU subsequently brought us. Moreover, I do not want the fellow thinking that I have some personal vendetta against him: after all, he is the leading contender to succeed me and I very well don’t want them tossing mud balls at me at his inauguration should it come to that. Who will forget what happened to my predecessor that December day in 2002?
Second, I would not like this accusation that I have lost objectivity to cement itself in the public mind. You see, with this concoction gaining currency that I attended a meeting with the Mungiki accompanied by you and my favourite kijana, it now looks like it is actually to protect myself that I am holding on to you. In addition, you are beginning to hear murmurs from all those ethnic jingoists out there that I am only concerned with shielding “my people” who are facing grave accusations of crimes against humanity while suspending “others” who are accused of, say, nose-pinching and gun-waving. It will not be long before these become a torrent.
Third, I have to reconsider this issue from the point of view of the burden it now places on you and my favourite kijana. We are in an economic crisis, fuel prices are sky-high, I am informed that the cost of living is impossible, there are calls for strikes every which way, the constitutional implementation process is complex and consuming, ethnic communities are conflicting in different corners of the country, we have the war in Somalia against the Al-Shabaab and so on – as my chief operating officer, you know this even better that I do. So why would I continue to burden you with such distractions while your very lives and futures are at stake? With this in mind and before you head out, could I ask you my favourite balozi, to draft a letter for me to sign suspending yourself and my favourite kijana?
Mugambi Kiai is the Kenya Program Manager at the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA). The views expressed in this article are entirely his own and do not reflect the views of OSIEA