An open letter to my friend and brother the Engineer Michael Waweru

Dear Brother,

Uhoro waku.

I have just finished my morning ritual of going through my facebook and seeing what my friends have posted. This is something I do every morning not just because I am an addict of facebook but also because it is part of my job to see what people are saying about my organization as well as to it. But I will admit it to you that of late I have been keener to see just what Kenyans are saying about the coming elections. I have in particular been following your posts and sometimes even had the chance to do my own posting in support of my prefered presidential candidate and sometimes to comment on your postings.I have enjoyed entering into debates with you realising that such is the beauty of a mature democracy like ours;that you would have the liberty to publically criticise my prefered candidate and I yours.

My friend,this year’s campigns have been long and hard,even difficult to predict . In the heat of it all we have become too passionate about our own beliefs and those of our political parties that sometimes we have forgoten our friendship. We have consciously or unconsciously hulled insults at each other directly or indirectly and have worshipped at the alter of ethnic egos. We have said in public things that should probably never be repeated to our children if we ever dream to bequeath a peaceful country to them. The candidates of our choice (yours and mine) have battled fiecely through the campaigns. But don’t get me wrong this letter is not about them. It is about you and I. It is about Kenya.It is about a resolve to make these coming elections count.

Politics can sometimes be small and silly. In fact I think politics is nothing more than a contest of egos and a domain of special interests by individuals who have an agenda to push.That is why we would go to whatever extent to politic in support of our candidates and often the most egotistic of us proceeds with an edge over of the other.Elections matter more than the myopia of politics. Elections are about change, about democracy, about renewing the hope of a nation, about individual rights and liberty. They are about the dailly bread and butter issues that confront us, like where the next meal will come from, how we will educate our small brothers and sisters, if we will get a job when we graduate or not and if we are secure and safe in our country or not. These issues are real and they confront both you and I. They bite us both with equal sting.That is why we cannot afford to make these coming elections about individuals. No. They should be bigger than that. They should be about Kenya, about our joint future and that of our children and their children.

But most importantly these elections must be about peace and the process of healing, reconciling and uniting our nations so that together we can achieve the dreams of our founding fathers not just for our sake but the sake of the next generation. We cannot afford to go wrong with these elections and if we do then we must be prepared to bear the wrath of an unforgiving future generation. As such our role as citizens will not end with the ballot no matter who wins on the 4th of March. We will still have the responsiblity to uphold peace and sanity. To look beyond the walls and barriers of our ethnic divide and join hands to build this nation that we all love. Elections come and go and so do politicians but when we wake up on the 5th of March we will still have a country needing to be built.It should never be about what can be done for us but what can be done by us as we move forward at thats is why peace before, during and after these election is or collective responsibility. We must NEVER forget that.

You see friend, we are not enemies but friends and though passion may have strained it must never break the bonds of our affection.We have a duty to be united and keep the peace in the same way we do when David Rudisha breaks another record on the track. We forget our tribes and embrace in celebration. We raise our glasses and drink in honour of a brave warrior decorated in Black, White, Green and Red. Such is the true Kenyan spirit and such is the Kenya we must have after 4th of March. Our county has come so far. Remember the 1994 tragedy of Mtongwe ferry,the 1998 bomb blast, the 2001 Kyanguli fire tragedy among many others. We were united in grief through those dark moments of our history. We stood by each other no matter how they name was spelt on their ID cards or where they came from. And those dark moments that united us are far more painful than the lose or the fear of losing an elections. You see Mr. Engineer, we are more united than our politics suggest.We are not just a country of 42 tribes, we are Kenya and we should always dwell in peace, love and unity elections or no elections.

That is why I write to you my friend. To tell that with just over a week to the elections we have to say it is enough. Enough with the hate we spread on social media, enough with the lies we tell about other candidates that breed hateful passion. We have done what we could do as politicians and I am convinced that nothing we do moving forward will change the course for our candidates for at this point they can only win or lose.Simple. Let us now be Kenyans and heal our land. If in the course of these campaign I have said or done something spiteful to you then I beg your forgiveness and I choose to forgive you for any and all things spiteful you may have said and I am convinced that we can work together and rebuild our beloved Kenya.

I still want to journey with you through the forests of Aberdares as we see and appreciate the beauty and splendour of our heritage. I still want have tea with you in a smoky hotel in Ukambani and I still dream of walking you through the rice paddy of Ahero after we have enjoyed a meal of fish and brown Ugali at the foot of Got Alila.Such is the Kenya I want after 4th of March where plenty is found within our boarders.

With love and respect tou your democratic rights to elect your prefered candidate.

Olunga

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