From left to right; Tom Mboya, Jomo Kenyatta and Njoroge Mungai
Today is Madaraka day. It should be a day of careful reflection because we can only map out the way forward when we fully know where we came from and what our current exact location is.
According to me the saddest thing that ever happened to Kenya is that we distorted and rewrote our history to make a few people look good. Let me start very early in my post today by stating (for the sake of those who don’t know me well) that this piece is NOT about tribalism but about a few individuals who enriched themselves greatly at the expense of the masses. Sadly some of those individuals are still our national heroes.
Uhuru Kenyatta himself has recently said that he should not be judged for the sins of his father and that we should “let that mzee rest in peace.” However in my humble opinion noble sons should make good for the sins of their fathers where they can.
A long long time ago a man called Johnstone Kamau had gone to school and that is why illiterate Kenyans trusted him with their money and send him with a petition to the United Kingdom. But when Bwana Kamau arrived in Britain, did not do what he had been sent there to do. But even more disheartening is that when the same Johnstone Kamau became the first leader of independent Kenya, he received hefty cash donations to buy settler farms at the market price then and to settle Africans on the farms, especially our gallant freedom fighters. But what Mr Kamau did instead was to buy up all the land and transfer it to his personal name and that of his close associates. As you read this the family of Kenyan hero Dedan Kimathi is wallowing in poverty. Indeed many other Kenyan heroes and heroines who put their lives on the line and others who lost their parents are living bitter lives with nothing to show for what they did for all our sakes. Kenyans are really not interested in what this great men and women did for them.
Admittedly this culture of rubbishing the achievements of the patriotic and rewarding the prosperous thieves instead did not start yesterday. It is something that was used to build the very foundations of this banana republic we call Kenya. It is the reason why people who knew what was happening had to be killed. Pio Gama Pinto (a prominent fundraiser who helped raised the cash for Johnstone Kamau’s defence at the famous Kapenguria trial) was confronted by his excellency Bwana Kamau one day in the precincts of parliament and asked why he was causing trouble. He pointed to Kamau’s land grabbing ways. The next day he stopped two bullets from an assassin as he was reversing out of his driveway to take his young daughter to school. Tom Mboya complained in a book he wrote that he had changed his mind about having a powerful leader as the uniting force of the nation. Anybody reading between the lines knew exactly what he was talking about. That powerful leader had greatly enriched himself at the expense of the people. People like Mboya were there right from the beginning and knew everything about this god who was the president of Kenya and that is why it was just a matter of time before he would have had to be sent to meet his maker much earlier than his time. And that is exactly what happened on the streets of Nairobi on that fateful day of July 5th 1969.
As we prepare to vote in Uhuru Kenyatta as the next president of Kenya to continue with the Kenyatta legacy we are all so proud of let us remember…
…Let us remember the sins of our fathers as well as their genuine mistakes made out of ignorance and lack of wisdom. We loved our fathers with their flaws but we must always remember that only a fool fails to learn from history.
Happy Madaraka day Kumekuchans!!!
P.S. There has been a concerted campaign by some of my friends to bring to the attention of Kenyans the achievements of this humble blog. For instance I have been told to make sure that Kenyans know that it was in this blog that the term Wenye-nchi was first used. It is now at the centre of a campaign in the media. My response is simple and direct. I did not start Kumekucha to become famous. I started it to fight for a better Kenya. I am not interested in the glory or in being recognized and that is one of the reasons for me remaining anonymous (although the main one is my personal security). My great fear is that when people start wallowing in some small victories they take their eyes from the ball and lose focus on their objectives. It is my sincere prayer that whatever side-shows come up on this journey that I have chosen, I will never lose sight of the vision that drove me to launch this blog in May 2005.
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