As you celebrate your 90th birthday, I wish to write an open letter to you.
But unlike others, I write this letter, not to praise but ask you some hard questions. Before that, however, as a victim of your misrule whom you jailed and detained for nine years, I propose you admit and apologise to Kenyans for the terror, cruelties and mistakes of your 24-year-old one-party dictatorship.
Let us begin by being frank. I will not say your government was all evil and nothing good, but as a President-dictator, you did more harm than good.
When you ruled Kenya, you were like an Omnipotent God with powers of life and death over every Kenyan. However you ruled, and whatever you did, nobody could question you.
Whoever dared to question you, did so at the risk of being sacked if employed, ruined if in business, killed, jailed or detained without charge or trial. But did you believe you could be God when some politicians claimed your body radiated rays of light like Jesus at a public rally in Kericho?
Before President Jomo Kenyatta ruled Kenya like a King – omnipotent and above the law – he was my hero but he betrayed me after independence. I wanted to ask him some questions but he detained me before I could. When Kenyatta’s death released us, I still could not ask him questions because he was dead.
As for you, there are questions I have wanted to ask you but could not because you also detained me to ensure my silence. Now that you are 90 years old, I would like to ask you those questions before you get too old to answer.
In asking you these questions, I don’t mean to embarrass you. I ask in belief that, as a former President, you know a lot of good and bad that you should bequeath to young Kenyans to assist them understand their past and present, and solve recurring problems.
Your Excellency, your knowledge as a leader is not your private property. It is collectively owned, and you should release it to us when we request.
I know many media houses have tried to reach you for interviews to clarify certain questions of public interest. Instead of giving them interviews, you have referred them to Lee Njiru, your press secretary who is completely incapable of saying anything critical about you.
My fear is, were anything to happen to you, all your knowledge of Kenya would be lost. And this is where western leaders beat us. When they quit office, they disclose whatever they know in fairly truthful autobiographies that equip their young generations with knowledge of governance, long before they become leaders.
Knowing you are a leader who harbours lots of knowledge that will make Kenyans wiser, why do you not give interviews to media? What do you fear?
Given that to lead is to show the way to some destination, when you led Kenyans for 24 years, where were you leading them? When you retired, was Kenya where you wanted her to be – in disarray and ruin?
Many have argued that where you left Kenya when you retired in 2002 was more than 50 years behind where, for example, Lee Kuan Yew left Singapore when he retired in November 1990. Because it is always leadership that is held responsible when a country goes down, between Kenyatta and you, who would you hold responsible for leading Kenya down the path of poverty, dictatorship and ruin?
When you were President, I remember you, Simon Nyachae and Jeremiah Kiereini in State House Nairobi, trying to persuade me to fight Mwai Kibaki in a room whose walls were lined with briefcases – of what I believed was government money. Did you take government money and other properties like land to add to your personal wealth or dish out to people? If not, how did you acquire your enormous wealth?
When you came to power, you decided to follow President Jomo Kenyatta’s footsteps or Nyayo, notwithstanding that the first President had led Kenya on the wrong path of dictatorship, corruption, negative ethnicity and economic ruin. Do you regret ever doing this and if not, have you advised Uhuru and Ruto to follow your footsteps, which they seem to?
Given that dictatorship is an enemy of democracy, did you embrace tyranny out of personal nature, system or misadvise to inherit President Kenyatta’s dictatorship?
When you dispatched innocent Kenyans like me to Manyani, Kamiti or Shimo la Tewa maximum security prisons for indefinite detention without charge or trial, to be tortured there as in hell, did you ever think you were wrong, inhuman or un-Godly? Were you to be President again, would you still govern Kenya as a dictator?
Since 2002, you have lived in a country with a lot of freedom of expression. Were you to be President again, would you reissue your clarion call of September 1984: “I call on all ministers, assistant ministers and every other person to sing like parrots. During Mzee Kenyatta’s period, I persistently sang the Kenyatta tune until people said: This fellow has nothing to say, except to sing for Kenyatta…Therefore, you ought to sing the song I sing. If I put a full stop, you should put a full stop. This is how the country will move forward. The day you become a big person, you will have the liberty to sing your own song and everybody will sing it.”
Do you believe the country moved forward or backwards by people singing your song like parrots?
Were you advancing or reversing national development when you governed the country with comical sycophants like Kariuki Chotora, Okiki Amayo, Muilu Mutisya, Ezekiel Bargatuny, Shariff Nassir, William ole Ntimama, Joseph Kamotho and Peter Oloo Aringo? Would any country develop midwifed by quacks such as these?
When President Kenyatta died, would you say you were the most qualified leader to inherit his Presidency, or was your Presidency a historical error?
Did you approve of Kenyatta government’s assassinations of Tom Mboya, JM Kariuki, Pio Gama Pinto and others, and did your government have anything to do with the assassinations of Bishop Muge, Robert Ouko or Father Kaiser and others?
In constructing dictatorship and resisting change, you promoted negative ethnicity as a close ally. Given its potential to destroy Kenya, doesn't your propagation of negative ethnicity give you pangs of regret?
Finally, are you willing to admit and apologise for the misrule of your dictatorship?