Friday, February 13, 2009



Hey Mr. Okungu,

Hope you are keeping well. I just want to congratulate you for the eye-opening piece on Today's Nairobi star and thanks for the splendid job. Kindly go through this piece on The Kenya we want and tell me what you think of it. Wish you Godspeed!

The Kenya we don't want...
SO! Now we're from having a conference to deliberate on what Kenyans want.... sounds noble, but not so fast.
Do you really want to know what Kenyans want? Don't organise a conference.

Visit Kibera, Mathare, Dandora, Kangemi, Mukuru and other 'vitongoji duni' in Nairobi and other urban centres. They will tell you that they really need clean piped water, reliable electricity supply that's affordable, sustainable income generating facilities, security, access to medical care and a cleaner, less adventurous alternative to flying toilets.

Take time to chat with the frowning motorist queuing for fuel at the pump. He'll tell you how ashamed he is to be photographed in a scene we'd eserved for Zimbabwe. Artificial fuel shortages, inflated pump prices and other related inconveniences do not grow an economy.

Spend time at the Nairobi Women's Hospital. Listen to the countless victims of domestic abuse as they recount the harrowing details of the daily persecution meted out on them by the very men charged with the responsibility of protecting them. Watch in nauseating horror as the three year old rape victim writhes in agony, groaning in pain, too young to verbalise the hurt she feels.... Hear the things they won't tell you about defending the defenceless at your high-profile conferences.

Speak to the taxpayers. They will tell you that paying taxes is no longer a patriotic duty, but a vivid reminder that some animals are more equal than others. They will demand of their legislators to take a substantial pay cut, and THEN pay taxes on their revised allowances and salaries. Revised downwards, I insist. They will recommend that the national Budget be prepared by sober, visionary Kenyans, not by Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Abunuwasi and the Wizard of Oz after a chang'aa drinking spree. Allocating over half a million shillings to MPs for vehicle maintenance PER MONTH is not funny, and no one's laughing.

Talk to the lady on the street, the young guy at the corner, the mother walking her child to school, the father of four who just lost his job due to 'restructuring', the tarmacking graduate, the high school dropout, the IDP, Wanjiku, myself... ask us what we think about your conferences. We feel nothing. It smacks of an elitist public relations scheme, and is a close ally of commissions of inquiry.

I don't want a Kenya that leaves me feeling so helpless to make a difference. I don't want a Kenya where morality, the fear of God and justice have been replaces by greed, lethal ethnicity and dishonesty in top leadership echelons. I don't want the Kenya I see today. I demand my country back. I want justice to be our shield and defender once again. And I want it NOW. All in favor say AYE!

Mike Gitonga