By Reuben Kigame,
September 23rd, 2017.
Great people of Kenya, allow me to use this platform to say a few things that are intended to bring us together and foster sanity and responsibility at a difficult time in the history of our country. I know that given my handicap and the attitudes, some of you may have towards “another mere citizen,” it is easy to ignore me; but just grant me your ear and circulate this if you can because I desire it to reach as many of us as possible.
I love each of you and believe in our common purpose and destiny as a people. I send this out as one uncommitted to any side of the current divide and beg you to at least read and then discard if you wish.
Most of us are exhausted from the long electioneering process of 2017. Businesses are not doing well and some, like mine, have had to close altogether. It is tough making ends meet, taking our children to school or keeping up with the news. People from across the divide are angry and approaching levels of insanity in their utterances and behavior.
For whatever this piece is worth, I want to put one point across in praise of the Kenyan citizenry. It has made me proud to be, Kenyan. When I think of the patience, restraint, endurance of tension no nation could have endured no matter how civilized, I must heartily thank every citizen for behaving most civilly I can think of.
So, believe you me or not, my only message to each of you as my brother and sister, keeps the peace and don’t let go. Let’s not allow ourselves to be divided at the tail end of a process we have handled so well this far. Like gold tried through fire, we will come out stronger and more glorious. We must hold each other close.
So let me finish by saying a few words to our leaders, on behalf of the country’s majority:
- IEBC – Chebukati and team, I know you have been on the receiving end, and you must already be fatigued from the process. I advise that you seek God’s wisdom first because you need it badly. Each party is exhausted from the process and so the next few weeks will be very trying for you. You have been accused of some grave matters.
As an independent institution, please don’t be swayed by any side on doing what is right. The noise around you is from those interested to get power; but out here there are great, hard-working and patient Kenyans whose lives and destinies must not be compromised by any careless decisions or actions on your part.
Given the recent revelations, kindly find the culpable who may have messed up the election process, have them step aside and assure both parties of a free and fair election.
As citizens, we are accused of many things, but you will never accuse us of impatience or failing to participate in this process. Please don’t rush to make statements you have not checked or thought through carefully. You are here for a time as this. Kindly seek dialogue with both sides and listen to each of these leaders; they are Kenyan too, then make your independent judgment.
- To your Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta – Together with your deputy, really sorry for what you have gone through to the point of enduring an annulled election. You can be credited for being quite resilient and must be congratulated for bringing our nation this far during your tenure the last five years or so.
I, however, request – even beg – that you kindly change your rhetoric entirely from that of anger and talking down on the supreme court as well as Hon Raila. Perhaps it would just be wise, knowing you are exhausted too, to just concentrate on persuading us for your votes. Don’t attack the court; you may need it.
We all need it. We can all revisit the arguments, but we don’t have time for anything else except the desire to a peaceful transition. You have endured worse attacks in the past. Just do your best to rally the country together and sell your agenda. We will have to pick either you or Hon Raila anyway. Sorry for what you have gone through, but, reading you like anyone else who has gone through adversity, wipe your brow and soldier on.
Nothing is lost yet; there is an election coming. Just convince us of what you could do with another five years given to you by us as citizens, but ultimately by God, given that chance. Tone down and move on. Those around His Excellency, please help him and stay close and speak encouragement instead of going over and over the pain of an annulled election.
- For Hon Raila Amolo Odinga and team – You are great Kenyans. Jadwong baba, we respect you for the many sacrifices you have made in the fight for multiparty democracy in this country, and many of us are enjoying the fruits of those sacrifices today because of you.
You were in detention several times unfairly because you fought for justice. You have sacrificed many big opportunities to become Kenya’s president before and instead supported others, thus fulfilling the biblical injunction of “counting others better than yourself.”
In that light, Mzee, you have been a shining example. I know, baba (and I call you so from a different standpoint – that of you qualifying to be my dad in reality) you have endured a lot. You have another opportunity because either you or His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, will get this opportunity to lead us; might you find it in your heart to listen to a small piece of advice?
The court has ruled, and we will go to another election. Might it be possible for you to just take the remaining time and sell us your agenda? Just give us reasons why we should vote for you. Could you tone down the pain and anger and begin to show us what you would look like as a leader if we gave you a chance?
Is it possible to tone down your anger against the process, or Jubilee and break down your manifesto for us? We have proved civil in many ways; with a tired population, could you kindly work with Uhuru and your two teams, NASA and Jubilee, and bring us together as a people?
- To the media – Fellow media men and women, you have played a significant role in informing us of the ongoing in many elections. Sometimes you have done well, and many times you have let us down too. Could you kindly restrain from opinionated and give us news?
Could you minimize these interviews where all we hear in a one-hour bulletin is more than forty minutes of opinions by so-called experts? Could you restrain from aligning on either side? Could you help those with vernacular coverage to desist from dividing us into tribal lines?
Could you take a quick reminder that Kenya is for all of us, regardless of our political affiliations? Could you please lead, given your access to numbers? Could you please play a mediating role for all of us? After all, you are media; will you not mediate?
- Lastly, to my clergy friends. You are too quiet. You are the representatives of Heaven here. Will you stay silent when we need to hear from God? Will you take sides or be cowed by partisanship? Aren’t our churches full of congregants from different walks of life and political groupings?
Can you stay silent? What is God saying? What does His Word say about this time? Do you really love everyone the same? Do you pray for one side of the divide and silently curse the other? If you do so, you will not be worthy of your calling.
If you have already taken sides, it is time for you to go before God and repent. That should not happen at all. This is the position we must all take at all times being servants of God. God loves Jubilee members and leaders the same way He loves NASA members and leaders. For a reminder, He made them all in His image. God loves the Atheist, the Agnostic, the witch, the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Israeli, the Palestinian. God loves India and God loves Kashmir.
God loves President Uhuru, and god loves Hon Raila Odinga. We must pray for them and love them, but also correct them equally if they go astray. I must remind, too, that God loves IEBC officials and we must support and pray for them.
God has put you all here and all of us here for a time as this. We are alive now so that we step into our places of responsibility and save the nation currently, but most significantly, our posterity, to which we must bequeath the future.
In closing, if you are on social media, you are a media owner. Please remember that there is a time to speak and a time to stay silent. How many of you have ever spoken through silence? Remember that every idle word we utter will be judged by God.
The writer is a Pastor, Evangelist, Musician, Teacher and above all a Christian apologist.
God bless you and God bless Kenya