Wednesday, July 1, 2009



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
July 1, 2009

Dear Jimmy,

It is not always my habit to write this kind of letter to public figures like you. I only resort to it when I realize a serious concern for some people I have been in contact with and consider to be decent that opportunists in our society should never unduly take advantage of.

If I claim to know you, you must be knowing well what I mean. I don’t have to go to great lengths to prove to the public where we met and under what circumstances. What matters is the content of this letter.

Judging from the recent press reports, there are indications that you are increasingly taking an interest in Kenya’s current politics. More so, you are increasingly engaging the young people of Kenya to be prepared to take over the political leadership from the present aging generation. This is a good move in my opinion.

The grapevine is full of rumors that you intend to inherit the Othaya parliamentary seat that is bound to be vacant on your father’s retirement on December 30, 2012. I see nothing wrong with this move. After all that was how Oburu Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Katana Ngala, Khaniri, Boy Juma Boy and a host of present and past MPs became Members of Parliament. They inherited seats left vacant by their relatives for one reason or another.

The way I see it; the Othaya seat is yours for the taking, considering that since your childhood, you have played the self effacing son of a politician, humble and unthieving like some of your age mates that used their fathers’ positions to grab public resources left and right. You have never been involved in any known scandals that I know of to have rocked this country right from the Golden Berg era to the latest Triton and KTB sagas. You have minded your business without throwing your weight around like many children of ex- presidents and lesser politicians have done in the past.

More importantly, you have in a subtle way, cultivated your relationship with the Othaya constituents without seeming to upstage your father. Whenever there has been an opportunity to raise funds for this school or that church , you have gone there, performed your duty without campaigning openly for the Othaya seat well aware that it is yet to fall vacant.

With the foregoing in my mind, I have of late seen you in the company of some characters that have long lost respect with Kenyans for one reason or another. It s not my place to tell you which people you should associate with because that has to be your personal choice.

However, if you plan to plunge into politics and earn the respect of not just Othaya people but Kenyans as a whole, then there are people you must avoid like a plague.
The people now coalescing around you, jostling for the slightest photo opportunity as cameras click will be your undoing. They will be your undoing because as it is right now, they have everything to gain from you while you have everything to lose in your association with them.

Some of these people have perfected the art of political acrobatics. They follow successful and promising politicians for only two things: handouts and media visibility. In turn, they use their public appearances with you to further their causes in their constituencies and if an opportunity arises, they will use your name to extort all sorts of funds from unwary members of the public. If you doubt me; just look around in the ODM and PNU camps and you will see those politicians that fallen prey to them. They have used and misused them over and over again and at times plunging some of them into gory scandals leaving them the laughing stocks of the public.

These charlatans now masquerading as your friends will turn around and vilify you once you discover their true colors. It is their stock in trade. If you doubt me, ask Kalonzo Musyoka, Charity Ngilu, Raila Odinga, Haroun Mwau and Uhuru Kenyatta. They are always your “best buddies” as long as they are eating from your palms. The moment you clinch your fists, they change color.

Finally; if you want to plunge into local politics, do not focus too much on the youth. They may have the votes but they are also the most unfocussed lot that will cease any opportunity to grab whatever they don’t have. Again they have not done well in the corruption department. If you doubt me, just look at the Golden Berg, Anglo Leasing, land, Mau Forest, Triton, KTB and NSSF scams. In each one of them, youthful leaders have been at the forefront and you know some of them.

As I sign off, I must take this opportunity to wish you well with your first rally in Ukambani in the next few weeks.
Most sincerely,
Jerry Okungu