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Friday, September 14, 2007

Haki Iwe Ngao Na Mlinzi

I would certainly have wished to have been as old and aware as I am now that very special day that Kenyans heard their brand new national anthem for the first time, sometime in 1963.

The drums, the cymbals, beating urgently and expectantly to usher in that all powerful opening 3 lines;

OH GOD OF ALL CREATION

BLESS THIS OUR LAND AND NATION

JUSTICE BE OUR SHIELD AND DEFENDER

By the third line it would have all been too much for me and the tears would have been trickling down my cheeks freely, the way they are now as I write this. In 1963 they would have been tears of joy and expectations. Now they are tears of despair and hopelessness. Close to 44 years later I can confidently report that JUSTICE has NOT BEEN the shield and defender of the Kenyan people. Rather it has been the shield and defender of a few elite thieves and looters of public funds.

This post is dedicated to the long-suffering people of Kenya. The voiceless, hungry hopeless Kenyans.

My brothers and sisters spare a thought today and say a silent prayer for all those Kenyans…

• In prison, NOT because they are guilty but because they are poor.
• Who have lost their loved ones including small children because there was no medicine in the hospital and they did not have the money to get proper medical treatment for them. By the way most of the scarce forex was used to transfer cash belonging to the high and mighty to secret Swiss accounts and elsewhere. In 1999 I traveled to the funeral of a friend’s wife in Tharaka, Meru and we gave a lift to just such a couple who had lost their daughter. She was hardly 9 years old. That tiny cheap coffin on the carrier of our Matatu will never leave my mind.
• All those desperate poorly educated Kenyans who did not get a decent education because their parents could not afford it and are now sentenced to a lifetime of frustration and desperation. And to make matters worse, their children are headed in exactly the same direction. I have a relative or two in this bracket.
• In prison because they dared to demand their dues from their employers.
• Those Kenyans who got so hungry that they had to steal to get food.
• And generally those Kenyans who short of divine intervention have no hope whether President Kibaki wins the elections or Raila Odinga and they probably don’t even know it yet

My dream is that one day in this our land, Kenya, Justice shall truly be the shield and defender of the poor disadvantaged masses of this great nation.

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