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Letter to Bill 'Ruro', our Prezzo-at-large who is somewhere in the States

Peter Kimani
Kenya's President William Ruto speaks during a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 23, 2024. Ruto's visit is the first state visit to Washington by an African leader in more than 15 years. [AFP]

Good morning, Prezzo Bill Ruto or, if I may render your surname with an American twang, Ruro. I don’t know where this notes finds you; you could be flying over the Atlantic, across the Indian Ocean, or the Gulf.

Like many Kenyans, I have no idea what you are doing wherever you are in the wide world, visiting homes whose owners are away because they have more important things to do, so comedians have been dispatched to entertain you.

I caught a glimpse of the comedy as you couldn’t quite comprehend English delivered in an American twang, so it could be that you, too, have been a source of amusement for those Yankies.

But that’s not my problem. I am not interested either in how you made your way to the US and back. I am aware some killjoys have politicised just about everything, it’s as though they don’t understand the historicity of your US tour: No African leader has received such an honour for 16 years.

That is, assuming the US is a heaven of sorts; it’s been a nightmare for many of our people. Even that White House where a banquet was hosted for you was built by slaves—men and women who were shipped out of our land in chains—and forced to till the land under the crack of a whip for 400 years.

I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to ruin your appetite for heirloom tomato soup, butter-poached lobster, fruitwood-smoked short ribs and a white chocolate basket!

Since you treat history with disdain, I won’t remind that if America is an empire built on slave labour, then its military dominance—with a turning-point in the Second World War—was steadied with the uranium mined from the DRC.

Put simply, this is a system that has succeeded by taking resources, both natural and human, from our land, as they are doing right now.  I understand Kenya will be designated a major non-Nato ally, whatever that means, in exchange for the 1,000 of our compatriots being dispatched to fight goons in Haiti. Nato means North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a big boys’ club of warmongers.

Here’s the thing. Haiti was the first free black republic some 200 years ago, and history offers footprints about external meddling that scuttled any prospects of a democratic order taking root. I am not thinking about America’s idea of democracy, which delivers peace in pieces.

Still, that’s not my problem. Where was I? About the killjoys who want to politicise everything, including how you made it to the US. I understand you opted for a luxury jet leased from somewhere in Dubai, and its hourly cost was enough to restore all the bridges washed away in recent floods.

Fruits of our labour

I think it’s time Kenyans gave you a break. I mean, if I ran a country where nearly half the population cannot afford more than a meal a day, but they pay tax to near point of death, I think it’s only fair that one of us actually enjoys the fruits of our labour, and that one person is you.

So, if I were you, Prezzo Ruro, I’d go a little further and consider space exploration while you’re still at it. In any case, you never promised anyone that you’d be using a wheelbarrow to fly around.

This calls to mind another episode, some moons ago, when you went on regional junkets to mobilise support at a time the International Criminal Court was baying for your blood and that of former Prezzo UK.

Then, like now, you secured a private jet that flew you to a few destinations. A cheeky cartoonist called it the Hustler’s jet, providing an imaginative peek inside, where you were petted by a bevy of beauties. And see, now you can afford an even bigger jet and more trappings of comfort.

I thought I’d chanua you with these perspectives before you headed out but, as I said, it’s hard to keep track of you. Bon voyage on your journey back, if you’re still headed this way.

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