I do not celebrate; I wonder what he is here for. After ducking away into European warmth, there is only so much to do back home, the zoo is still the same, the monkeys, the very size and colour. Nothing has changed.
1500 hrs, at the Hilton hotel, I walk in and notice the amount of dreadlocks and tattoos that mark the presence of the civil society, and we joke about the irony of having this press conference at the grand Regency Hotel, I found it funny, some did not. For some strange reason I revisited JM Kariuki’s threadbare story and this being the last place he was seen alive, after a cup of coffee or so.
Upstairs in the Tsavo room, the event was just about to begin, and Muthoni Wanyeki was calling the crowd to attention, a huge crowd here today, lots of TV and Radio crew, I hear some stations are going live, interesting, for a man whose last days here were pegged with death threats, back on the invitation of the Prime Minister.
I must say that the civil society has the most eloquent speakers in this country, one after the other they came to congratulate Mr. J or the ‘Anti-corruption Czar’ as the dailies like to call him, for being a brave man, the whistle blower who became a celebrity for uncovering the dark secret that Anglo leasing was, even though we may never really know what happened.
We already know more than we should anyway. We’re Kenyans.
I mean, we say,
“Hi how are you doing?”
When we really don’t care how that other person is doing.
“I’m very fine”
I lady replies with tears in her eyes at the funeral service of her husband, who died of a
long illness bravely borne.
But hey, thank the heavens for a P.S who was brighter than Munyakei.
Munyakei was The Goldenberg blower who did not realize that only big fish can deal with the big fish, and when they get afraid, they release the little but lethal Piranhas while you can take off to wine and dine in British bliss,Munyakei could only afford to relocate to Mombasa where he embraced a new religion in his search for inner peace.
Munyakei should have known better ( ask Kwani’s Billy Kahora)
But we, Kenyans love to forget.
It’s easy to think you can get away with whistle blowing; here,but it is a crime in itself. Both Mr J and Munyakei know this as a fact.
So when Mr.J stood to speak, you could almost hear a pin drop in the hall, an eager audience waiting to listen to magic, and I hoped he would deliver.
He is not the policy maker.
He gave Suggestions
Unfortunately, I do not care about suggestions, I want solutions.
But he spoke well; Mr J.
He asked for Amnesty for economic crimes.
But our sophisticated elitist criminals know the right professionals who can immediately start doing the paper work on how much they will return to “the Kenyan people’
How about public accountability for crimes, your noble suggestions sir?
J, have you been away too long?
This is Kenya my boy, we follow the deny rule.
Deny. Deny. Deny.
Have you noticed that The Laico Regency stands tall next to that parking lot that just got a new layer of gravel on Loita Street?
Just asking, you might be interested.
Welcome home J.
I still wonder though if you are here on a visit, or to have a cup of tea with PM and the civil society, like John Kufuor did when he came here in January. Do tell….
Gladwell Otieno, step daughter to Mbugua the great then stood up to speak, the little dynamite had some tough words for the Kenyan government.
“A government that is not legit does not have the moral authority to tell the high school students not to go on strike” She said.
She even reminded Mr. J on his use of the word ‘dilemma’ “ because we use the word ‘crisis’ to describe the killings of one thousand Kenyans after the disputed elections.
Miss Otieno asked Mr. J to get over the euphoria of returning home, I second her.
Welcome home Mr. J.
I thought to introduce myself to you sir:
I am a mother, a Kenyan, waiting for lower inflation levels, so that with a thousand shillings, my monthly grocery will be taken care of, just like it was before 2007.
I am dreaming of a reduction to double digit on the Kenyan pumps, am a Gemini you see, I am allowed to dream, and you are very welcome to join me in my hopeless fantasies.
Mr. J, after 3 years in the UK, getting gifts of Kenyan tea, which you don’t even take, what are you bringing home?
You see, In 2002, I held on tight to my ID and Voters cards, I can still remember the precise emotions I went through, hoping and dreaming for a better home.
When I heard that you were coming back, I did not think you were a great man, or that your return meant something in the war against corruption, I just thought you missed home, and when R.O invited you over, you said yes, after all, nothing beats the Nyama Choma on Waiyaki way on a lazy Sunday Afternoon.
Welcome back J.
The Civil society knows that it has been vilified by the policy makers. That’s what you get when you decide to help the silent opposition to carry a metal chain along parliament road.
So does the civil society know that nothing is going to change, as long as the political caste is still the same? This class which seems to be designed in ‘that’ way?
Why does the civil still talk, big angry words that raise the dust and get me all encouraged and dreaming again?
I cannot answer that question.
Mr. J, welcome home.
But I will not listen to you. I will be a Kenyan.
I will sit back and wait for you to fight corruption, so that you can get exiled in Britain or whichever G8 country you choose to go to.
I will sit and wait for the prices of maize meal to come back to 65 shillings. I will watch the news and hope that you make some impact.
But I will not get lied to again.
I will be a Kenyan, mind my own business, pay my bills and sing the national Anthem.
Just don’t ask me to join you in the public fight against corruption.
I don’t have the strength to.
But Mr. J, welcome home.