Thieves, tribalists and whiners? Not us, Mr President

Saturday February 27 2016

President Uhuru Kenyatta is interviewed by Ya'akov Ahimeir of Israel's Channel 1 shortly after he arrived in Jerusalem, Israel, for a 3 day State Visit. Visiting the Holy Land has an undeniable effect on many people, but the President’s recent denunciation of Kenyans breaches the boundaries of banal blessedness. PHOTO | PSCU |

President Uhuru Kenyatta is interviewed by Ya'akov Ahimeir of Israel's Channel 1 shortly after he arrived in Jerusalem, Israel, for a 3 day State Visit. Visiting the Holy Land has an undeniable effect on many people, but the President’s recent denunciation of Kenyans breaches the boundaries of banal blessedness. PHOTO | PSCU | 

By KWAMCHETSI MAKOKHA
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Uhuru Kenyatta needs to have his temperature checked as soon as he jets back to Kenya from his tour of Israel.

Malaria, so the experts say, is a master of disguise, presenting highly beguiling symptoms such as headache, malaise, coughing, joint pains, back pains, vomiting, diarrhoea, and before you know it, boom! A patient is going cuckoo.

Visiting the Holy Land has an undeniable effect on many people, but the President’s recent denunciation of Kenyans breaches the boundaries of banal blessedness.

It is important to make sure that his exuberance in describing his fellow citizens cannot be attributed to Plasmodium falciparum, considering he recently spent two days at Sagana State Lodge in the company of governors from malaria zones.

Accusing your fellow citizens of whining and whingeing, calling them masters of thievery, invective and tribalism, as well as committing crimes, is not the style of a President.

A person who is head of state by virtue of obtaining more than 50 per cent of the vote in an ethnically diverse country cannot call Kenyans tribalists.

Granted, Mr Kenyatta was only whispering asides to other Kenyans in Israel and took precautions to ensure no non-Kenyan understood him by speaking in Kiswahili, but still the diaspora is hardly the crowd to cosy up to because their votes are a drop in the ocean of Kenya’s 20 million eligible electors.

CAREER LIMITING SLIP

Swapping gossip and rumours with the diaspora is a serious career limiting slip.

Kenyans are the politest people on earth. Even when they violently disagreed Mr Kenyatta’s congratulatory message to Ugandan strongman Yoweri Museveni on his well-deserved victory last weekend, they did so respectfully, fawningly addressing him with the honorific Your Excellency, bowing and scraping, all protocol observed.

There was not an iota of insult in the air.

A casual reading of last year’s State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice report reveals that there were just 155,195 criminal cases in court, which puts the lie to the label of law-breaking.

Prisons, brimming with inmates, have a population of just over 55,000.

The accusation that cuts to the quick is the one that suggests Kenyans have some sort of expertise in stealing. What have Kenyans ever stolen from him?

Mr Kenyatta is a man the redoubtable Forbes magazine estimates to be worth $500 million.

Has Mr Kenyatta ever woken up one morning and found that his wealth was suddenly $499.5 million?

When one of the alleged presidential limousines was borrowed overnight and driven across the border with Uganda in 2014, it was returned smelling like roses.

Kenyans move a little Eurobond money here and bank a little pocket change there then write lengthy affidavits confessing to everything.

NO MONEY IS EVER LOST

No money is ever lost. We are only whistle blowers exposing corruption wherever it occurs.

The President has no idea what stealing is, and if he does. As it were, theft, robbery and corruption-related crimes account for just under 35,000 of the criminal cases in court - that is 25 per cent of the total.

If Mr Kenyatta has any evidence of the citizens’ thievery, tribalism, rudeness and whingeing, he should swear an affidavit.

The President should know that Kenyans are quick to anger and slow to forgive.

They do not take low-level two-bit insults lying down.

They have vanquished Nigerians on Twitter after mistreating the Kenya football team; and put the South Africans in their place.

Kenyans ran CNN out of town when the network labelled the country as a hotbed of terror.

If, on the other hand, Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for his lapse, all is forgiven.

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