AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL KENYANS: KEEP PEACE

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Dear Kenyans,

I was born in Molo back in 1987.As history has it, Molo has been the centre of ethnic clashes since the multi party democracy system in 1992.Our home in Molo was burnt in 1992, 1997 and in 2008.I spent a good portion of my life in IDP camps with my family and I have seen how politics can ruin lives. Molo is the most cosmopolitan region I know. My neighbors were from all tribes across Kenya and as we grew up, Kiswahili was the mode of communication. In the absence of politics, Molo was the most peaceful place I have known but when electioneering period nears, neighbours turn enemies and hack each other to death. It is my hope and conviction that 2013 will be a different experience and at the villages in Molo, people would sacrifice anything for a peaceful election. We have learnt from the past.

Today, I write to all Kenyans in a rallying call for peace during the coming elections. I would like to tell all Kenyans that after March 4th and far beyond, Kenya will remain a great country. We should create the best future for our future generations. Kenya is bigger than any one of us and Kenya has enough resources for all of us. I would also like to demystify to the Kenyans the folly of voting on tribal lines which has always created the opportunity our politicians to divide the nation on tribal lines in the past. Kenyans have now learnt from past mistakes and this time round, we must get things right.

It is important for all Kenyans to know that our presidential candidates especially in the leading coalitions have several things in common. They are millionaires and some are billionaires. They are famous and have no internally displaced persons amongst their family members. Their security is guaranteed and their health is highly insured. They drive big cars and live in posh neighborhoods. Their kids go to the best schools abroad and when they call for public demonstrations, their wives and kids never participate but are well secured behind secured walls. They get what they want in life. They hold diplomatic passports and they have an option of many homesteads or can even fly to a destination of their wish. When in trouble, their tribes come, to their rescue. The list is endless. I am not saying this to tell you that you shouldn’t vote for them because they have all they need in life.No, I am simply telling you that the only common thing we have with them is our National Identity Cards. Now, before you think of fighting your neighbor in the name of defending them, take a look at your National Identity Card. That is who you are, and the person in that ID is responsible for the future of Kenya. Reflect on the benefits of your actions and you will see the folly of rising up against your neighbor.

We should be proud of our traditions and cultures and it is this cultural diversity that makes us Kenyans great people.However, when it comes to national matters that cut across the Kenyan society as a whole, it is time for us to take our votes based on issues. Tribalism has cost Kenyans a lot due to the assumption that our leaders would benefit our community at the expense of the other tribes in Kenya which is not true at all. I can simply disapprove this by citing for example, in the Luo community, the only connection you have with Raila’s family is maybe you walked along Oginga Odinga Street once hustling for a job. For the Kikuyu community, the only connection you have with Kenyatta’s family is maybe you walked along Kenyatta avenue, or went to Kenyatta High School or Kenyatta University. For Kalenjins, Meru’s, Embu’s,Luhya’s, Maasai’s and all the other numerous tribes and sub tribes, the only connection you have with your so called with your tribal chief is you watch them on TV strategizing on how to cash your hard earned cash or landing their helicopters probably disturbing your lunch break-hunger-slumber under a tree.

Kenyans should demand accountability from their leaders. In the campaign seasons, leaders will say anything but as Kenyans, let us filter the statements in a screen of truth. Shadowboxing on land issues, historical injustices, tribal blocks and regional emotive issues will be brought up by the politicians in their campaigns to polarize this great Nation. Mungiki, Chinkororo and other sectoral groups emerge; politicians will dish handouts to their desperate supporters and do all that appertains hooliganism to get your votes.My wish is that as Kenyans, we should stand firm, and make this election about issues and peace.

The issues we want sorted as Kenyans are clear in everyone’s mind and any candidate who wishes to get votes must have the facts right. I will enumerate just but a few: Wiping away completely the ghost of tribalism, dealing with corruption, ethics and integrity issues in our government, food security, national security,water,healthcare,infrastructure,education amongst others. This is what we want to hear during the electioneering period and our votes will be based on this.

Let me now address myself to the middle class in Kenya. All revolutions in this world have been driven by the middle class for economic, social political and governance reasons. It is the belief that as the employers of our public officers, we as Kenyans deserve the best and it is this spirit that will take this country to the next level. The middle class in Kenya holds the swing vote for this country. The middle class in Kenya has the ability to discuss issues and decide on who to vote for, mutually exclusive of tribal alliances and this is what will decide the outcome of this election. I do also have to caution the middle class on the events that transpire during the voting day. We are used to the comfort of our living rooms and doing everything online. I have to admit that the majority of us did not even take part in the party nominations, but we were eager to watch the results and analysis on our television sets and online then post comments on face book and twitter still from the comforts of our living rooms.However, no votes, comments or posts on face book or twitter and other social media will count during this election.Apparently, on 4th of March, you have to go to the polling station and vote. We probably don’t like lining up for long or waiting for too long, because it’s tiresome and we are not used to it.However, on this day, you have to determine the future of this beloved country, your future and the future of your children and grand children, just in a day. I would urge you to wake up early and show up at the polling stations to give Kenya a new direction.

Lastly, I ask of Kenyans, if you have to fight, let this war be about democracy, let it be about the future of Kenya, let it be about leaving Kenya a better place for a future generation and you only have one weapon to fight this war, on the 4th of March 2013,your vote. Vote wisely, vote and for peace. In any democracy, political competition is key during elections but at the end of the day, Kenya is ours. Let us remain United as Kenyans, regardless of who you vote for. After march 4th ,we will all be proud to be Kenyans.

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