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Opinion: Mr President, help unite us, fight negative ethnicity

By Janet Muthoni Ouko | Published Sun, August 13th 2017 at 00:00, Updated August 12th 2017 at 20:59 GMT +3
Elimu Yetu National Coordinator, Janet Muthoni Ouko. PHOTO: TITUS MUNALA/STANDARD

Congratulations President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta on your declaration by the IEBC as winner of the 2017 polls. This is a fresh opportunity in your hands to make a final impression on the lives of Kenyans. Show us that you are the true son of a freedom fighter.

You are President of all and I am sure sometimes your enthusiastic supporters misrepresent what you stand for. You are not famous for hate mongering when you campaigned but you are known to be humble and kind hearted. You are not corrupt but they say people close to you are. You have a rare opportunity in your hands.

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 I am talking to the man warm to children and whose happy handshake is his trademark. Please assure Kenyans of a new beginning. Make it your business as the father of the nation to unite all of us.

When we first met you asked me why my name is Muthoni Ouko. I remember you remarked that it is a true Kenyan name. That's you, Mr President. That is what you feel deep down and that is what many Kenyans feel.

I know you will not dismiss those that did not vote for you because you are magnanimous. You will rather tap into the expertise and talent from every Kenyan because building Kenya matters to you more than cementing alliances.

As you serve your last five years, put your best foot forward sir. Leave your legacy. Hard ware yes, the roads, Standard Gauge Railway, hospitals and schools. This time leave a software legacy. Deal with corruption and the corrupt decisively. Resist attempts to give excuses and pass the blame to institutions. Instead, slay the negative ethnicity dragon and build a happy home for your '43 children.'

I strongly feel you can help this country triumph over tribalism. When you form the next government, promise Kenyans that we shall not see you reward loyalty at the expense of capacity and talent. Promise that the list of the Cabinet will contain the great and illustrious sons and daughters of the soil from all regions. Promise that women and persons with disability shall have opportunity to contribute to building that new Kenya.

Mr President, disappoint the hate mongers. Capture the minds of young Kenyans that have been made to think they must shed blood to have their son on top.

We have young minds able to transform this country, ready to work with dignity and courage to confront the ills that have been institutionalised in the minds of Kenyans by past regimes. I believe you can make the Mountain and the Lake smile at each other again. Give hope to my children that indeed they are not a product of a false union but indeed are the shining light for all other Kenyans.

I shed tears because I don't know what to tell my children why I am not cheering at your win. I know the cheering hurts people that I love. I don't know how to mourn that Raila lost for fear that hostility might be visited on my mother in the Rift Valley. We are not few that are in this situation. Reason I want to appeal to your conscience.

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Promise the children of Kenya that you are going to take affirmative action towards burying negative ethnicity once and for all. Rally us genuinely and Kenyans shall not disappoint. But let it not be public relations. Let us see it in words and deed.

 


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