After a lot of thought and reflection, I decided to write something to Mwai Kibaki. Being an optimist, I felt it better to focus on the positive and find things to be grateful for. So I made a list:
Thank you for almost single handedly resurrecting the tribal tensions in this country.
Thank you for showing us that in this advanced day and age, in a civilized country like Kenya, we still need to jealously guard our democracy from people like you and those around you.
Thank you for helping to destroy trust in the Electoral Commission of Kenya, which now more than ever needed Kenyans to believe in it.
Thank you for showing how difficult it is in Africa for an incumbent to leave office, even when the people so obviously don’t want him.
Thank you for stealing an election, when we all thought it was impossible in this day and age.
Thank you for causing demonstrations and riots across the country due to your rigged election, and therefore showing us that not only one tribe is against you.
Thank you for showing us how we need new, young leaders to take this country forward, and not old, senile, selfish leaders like you and your colonial cronies.
Thank you for showing us that you have unshakeable faith in the stupidity of Kenyans and the world, by insisting that although only two out of eight provinces voted for you, somehow you won the election.Somehow.
Thank you for showing us that when a leader cannot control the people around him, it ceases to be known as a ‘hands-off policy’, and goes to show the weakness and inability of that leader.
Thank you for showing us how aloof you are, when after four straight days of violence, rioting, sadness and death across the country, you appeared on TV to wish us all a happy new year.
Thank you for showing us how unintelligent you and those around you are, when while addressing a crowd of refugees at Burnt Forest and their houses begun being burnt, and they shouted at you to get your attention, your ‘people’ told you it was just a forest fire and you went on with your speech. There is a reason why the place is called Burnt Forest, sir. The forest burnt ages ago. It is not there anymore. Maybe you can share that bit of information with your ‘intelligence’ people.
Thank you for showing us that most of us know that right now we aren’t in a tribal struggle, but a struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor.
Thank you for reminding us that we are not afraid of you and those around you. That despite all the threats, corruption and state machinery at your disposal, we are not afraid of you.
Thank you for bringing Kenya closer to a civil war than it has ever been in its entire history.
Thank you for reminding us that although it may not seem so, many of us would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
Thank you Mwai Kibaki.
This article was first written on the 10th of January, 2008. During the period that has know come to be known as PEV or post-election violence.