By PETER KIMANI
Good morning Your Excellency Scott Gration. I was hoping to make your acquaintance this week, as you marked the US Independence Day, but I received no invite.
The only invite in my possession came from the Russians who wanted me to attend some event I can’t quite remember.
I attributed the snub to a shift in policy, which is understandable. Your predecessor, whom we call Redi Mbaga, routinely invited scribes, especially the bearded ones, perhaps to extract the sort of gossip that finally spilled out in the open through the infamous WikiLeaks.
But I understand you are different, not just in temperament, but approach to issues as well. As a former soldier, you live to the true meaning of the expression: intelligence has to be collected intelligently.
So when I read the claims circulating on the World Wide Web casting aspersions against you, I was tempted to give you the benefit of doubt.
But the deluge of information kept sweeping in, the most interesting being that you improvised an office near the loo to escape security surveillance and even conducted official business on a private email account.
Then there was the claim that you threatened to shoot some staff in the head. I could not, for the wits in me, imagine you dragging a member of staff by the scruff of the neck to a corner where, eyes popping out with fury, you threaten to shoot their head off.
I believe all these are fabrications. But then, why bother? Who would be trying, as we say kukumaliza kisiasa (to finish you politically)?
One sage long predicted where there is smoke there must be fire, or at least embers that can be stoked to make one. Officially, there is talk of some audit, in which your office is reported to have fared miserably.
Let’s hold that thought for a moment: You have barely been in office for a year, so why is the audit assessing five years? Isn’t that an indication that you are a fall guy, taking responsibility for mistakes attributed to those before you?
I think there is a book you hadn’t read in school, the one that says you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Actually, it is your silence that cost your job.
And when you chose to speak, you said the wrong things, such as conveying humility and respect for locals and their way of life, and playing by the rules of diplomacy.
Why, your country is a leader in neo-colonialism, and its diplomats are expected to behave like colonial governors, contradicting or criticising presidents, and lecturing on what they consider to be the yardsticks of a “modern” democracy.