I'll be the first to categorically say that John was a patriot when he took on the Kibaki administration for its corrupt ways. Indeed, we must all hope that there will be many more Kenyans who are not afraid to blow the whistle on the corrupt tendencies they see in their offices. That said, I have to question why John felt the need to go to London to tell us about the rot in our own backyard. And after he did it, why did he come back home and frantically try to have an audience with President Kibaki? I don't like the way President Kibaki has run Kenya, but I agree with him that for the sake of our nation's integrity and his office, he couldn't agree to meet a man who soiled the image of Kenya abroad.
After three years of trying to save Kenya by telling the Brits and the rest of the West about our sleazy leaders, what can he tell us is the practical impact of his actions? Can he look Kenyans in the eye and point to what has changed because of his sit-down with the BBC and all the other Western networks that gave him audience?
Folks, here is where I come down on such matters. We can't allow ourselves to run with our problems to the West every time we have them. The announcement we make by doing things like that is this: We can't handle our affairs. Please, help us.
I'm aware John left because he had reason to worry about his security. I don't begrudge him that. But I detest whenever any patriotic Kenyan, and any self-respecting African, goes out there and slams the motherland. We all know how highly esteemed we are before the world community. Why continue to feed the negative stereotypes by running out there and screaming to the world to see just how incapable we are...many years after independence?
To the extent that John successfully brought this matter to the attention of Kenyans, his work is done. If he can come back to help sort out the mess, kudos to him. If he wants to keep yapping about how ugly the motherland is, I must say that he has ceased to be helpful or relevant. We have mechanisms in Kenya to deal with corrupt entities...and if those who are tasked to deal with corruption can't handle it, then there are mechanisms in place to deal with that too. That's how it's supposed to work. We can handle it. We must handle it. And we must demonstrate our maturity and the strength of our institutions by taking this matter on.
Let's not continue to be the white man's burden.
It shames us!