Uganda’s armchair analysts want to deport one Stephen Kiprotich to Kenya on suspicion that he could be Kenyan. Ask anybody the world anyway, including Kenya, from which country a ‘Kiprotich’ can come.
An urgent petition could anytime this week be landing on the desk of the Kenyan High Commissioner to Kampala, urging him to take his citizen back to Nairobi or Eldoret, whichever is applicable.
This Stephen Kiprotich whom we want to lynch was Uganda’s most loved national hero over the past four years since 2012 until a week or so ago. He won the last event of the London Olympics, taking time off to pick the Ugandan flag from the side before crossing the finishing line and taking the gold. Kiprotich returned to Uganda to a hero’s welcome and from Entebbe airport, went straight to State House where he was feted by President Museveni and the First Lady. He left State House with a hefty cheque to go build a house for his parents. Soon after, Kiprotich went to Moscow and again won gold at the World Championships.
He returned and was given cash to build his own house. The public also collected a large sum of money for our great son to let him know that we love him. Returning home after another successful sortie, the president gave ‘Kip’ as we were now fondly calling him, the latest SUV in the market.
The honeymoon continued.
Oh, sorry, I was forgetting. By the time Kip was a constable in Uganda Prisons service. After the London triumph, he was catapulted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Prisons, thereby making him a senior officer of the national security services.
And then he went to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
All Ugandans set aside whatever they were doing when time for the Marathon came to watch their son show the world that we indeed, are “Gifted by Nature” and that Winston Churchill was not mistaken when he called out country “The Pearl of Africa”.
We watched until the finish. And some chap called Kipchoge arrived first. And twelve others also arrived, no Kiprotich. Finally, Kiprotich checked in at Number 14. And in those seconds after Kipchoge’s arrival and his, we had developed doubts about his nationality. Yes, we are no longer sure. If the gold had been taken by some Haile Somebody from Ethiopia, we would have accepted that with pain. But not a Kipchoge.
Social media went into overdrive over what punishment to give Kiprotich.
So those are the whispers I have been hearing in Kampala’s hangouts. Anytime now, a petition could land on the desk of His Excellency the Kenyan High Commissioner’s desk in Kampala, seeking the deportation of Stephen Kiprotich to the land of his cousins.