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An Open Letter to H.E. Retd. President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, C.G.H.

15 Aug

An Open Letter To H.E. Retd. President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, C.G.H.

Your Excellency:

I am absolutely sure you do not remember this, but you and I have had occasion to meet twice in our life-time, albeit mine being a fraction of yours.

The first time was in June 1982 when I was in High School.

I was walking along State House Road, having alighted from a bus at Uhuru Highway and headed to my brother’s residence nearby where I was spending the holidays that year.

As your limo cruised by me, and I squeezed myself tight to the edge of the road to avoid being run-over by your motorcade, your limo slowed down, you rolled down the window and waved at me and I confusedly waved back in disbelief that you took the time to roll down the window, smile and wave at me.

It didn’t matter how many times you had done this, namely, slowing down your limo to wave at a lone roadside walker on that road or elsewhere but, for a high school chap that only saw you on TV or read about you in the papers, having such a close encounter was thrilling enough.

My brother I was visiting and staying with that summer worked in your administration as a senior Foreign Service official and is now retired.

The next time Your Excellency and I had occasion to meet was in September 2000, in New York City, where you had come to attend the UN Millennium Summit.

Before your coming to New York, one of your handlers or one of their friends (not sure which) contacted me and asked if I could come to New York to attend a meeting of Kenyans to be addressed by you.

I initially declined the invitation for a number of reasons, including scheduling conflicts but agreed to attend the meeting after the individual insisted that I do.

On arrival in New York, I was told that the organizers of the meeting had preselected a handful of individuals, including myself to ask Your Excellency questions during the Q&A session at the meeting for Kenyans.

I told the organizers I could only agree to be used as such only if I decided what questions to ask and not to be spoon-fed what to ask but they insisted on pre-approving the question so I relented and after going through some questions, it was agreed that I ask a question about the large amount of money Kenyans in the Diaspora were remitting home and what Your Excellency intended to do to minimize corruption so that some of these money can be invested in ways that were otherwise impossible due to corruption.

Prior to the meeting getting started, those who were to speak or ask questions at the meeting were ushered to meet you in your hotel suite.

The room was so crowded with people, I could barely reach over for a handshake and when I attempted to say something, I quickly gave up because of the many ears tuned in and up-close to hear even a whisper.

It was clear your handlers did not want us to say anything they did not approve, which is always baffling: Shouldn’t our leader be required to hear the good and the bad about anything affecting our country? What are these handlers always afraid of; that our leader would be told the truth? Isn’t truth better than living in denial?

I know what I had started saying to Your Excellency was asking you whether you had seen a news piece about you in that morning’s New York Times newspaper but I couldn’t even finish asking you that question, due to the over-eager ears leaning over and near shoving atmosphere in the crowded suit so I just abandoned the idea of trying to engage you in any meaningful chat, which was never to be, given that environment.

Anyway, at the end of that brief encounter, we headed to the meeting venue, where I asked the pre-approved question and as soon as I finished posing the question, we all saw you saying something almost frantically to some minister sitting next to you (can’t remember the name) but whatever you told him, which you indicated you had asked him to look into it, in your response, nothing ever come of my question.

Other than these encounters, and perhaps in spite of the first one, I was a very strong supporter of Your Excellency in the early years of your administration and have letters of commendation to that effect from our then Ambassador to the US.

It is with this background in mind that I write to you now more than 10 years since that last meeting in New York.

I am not writing to offer a comment about you or your presidency in particular, other than to say what I have said above and will say below in order to provide context for a request I am about to ask of Your Excellency.

I am writing to you in particular, to urge Your Excellency to support the presidential aspirations of the Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, who obviously needs no introduction to you.

I have noted this letter is not really about Your Excellency’s presidency, per se, but, to put my request in perspective, however, I must note three historical facts of relevance:

First, Raila, as he is popularly known, or just Awambo, spent a good part of his life in detention at your behest, where he was not spared the humiliation, pain and torture reserved for detainees like him.

Second, his life having surprisingly been spared, and after his release and unsuccessful presidential run in 1997, Raila surprised many and annoyed some, by deciding to join your administration as a cabinet minister.

Third, when you attempted to install the then young and inexperienced Uhuru Kenyatta as your successor, Raila became instrumental in making sure you did not succeed, which you did not and instead a candidate Raila backed and campaigned for, Mwai Kibaki, was elected as president largely due to Raila’s endorsement of him with his declaration “Kibaki Tosha,” followed by euphoria across the country with the election of a new president to succeed you.

One can therefore say, yours and Raila’s has been a peculiar personal and political relationship, to say the least,  and certainly, one can assume setting aside the 1990s, you cannot be happy with Raila and his successful efforts to defeat your Uhuru Project, let alone in his successful efforts along with President Kibaki to repel your opposition to the passage of the new Constitution.

However, everything considered, you still owe Raila and the nation, one, Your Excellency.

Some would say you owe Raila a public apology for having him detained all those years and for whatever else happened to him then.

Given your age, your stature and our history, however, I highly doubt this is even an appropriate expectation Your Excellency.

Your Excellency, can,  however, do something history will favorably record and that is, even in spite of all what has happened in the past between you and Raila, Your Excellency, you can bring everything full circle by supporting Raila for president.

I and others believe and have stated elsewhere, including in communication to President Kibaki himself that the Kikuyus and Kalenjins must lead the nation in ending  tribalism and negative ethnicity in Kenya by not voting as a bloc, in the case of the Kalenjin and by voting for someone other than “their own” and not voting as bloc, too, in the case of Kikuyus.

Your Exellency, the ugly animal of tribalism will be slain with no resurrection possible, were this to happen in 2012.

Unfortunately, Your Exellency, your former protégé, the Hon. William Ruto, is going around the Rift Valley, spreading lies about how bad Raila is for the region and that Kalenjins should not vote for him.

This is not only a malicious campaign, if successful, it would only serve to entrench tribalism, which we all must reject.

It would certainly do nothing to advance the interests of the Kelenjin people, Your Excellency, and more so the reason you should thwart these efforts.

You can thwart Ruto’s efforts by preaching the message of peace and unity for the country via the election of Raila.

There are four ways Your Exellency can offer your support for Raila:

First, as suggested above, you can simply do what you can to thwart Rutos tribalistic antics in the Rift Valley.

Second, you can actively campaign for the election of Raila.

Third, you can simply do your own version of “Raila Tosha” either by express and direct endorsement of Raila or some form of endorsement.

Fourth, if you can’t bring yourself to do any of the above, Your Excellency, then you should at least quietly offer your support for Raila or at least not publicly or privately seek to “block” Raila as the likes of Ruto have sworn to do as their sole mission in line in this electoral political circle.

Mzee, you do any of these, you can be assured Kenyans will ultimately be thankful and the gesture of good will for this purpose alone will go a long way in painting your legacy more favorably than otherwise would be the case and the simple act alone will certainly cast in a more positive light, the history as it relates to you, Raila and other political detainees.

Of course, I can only urge you do so.

The ultimate decision is yours.

But I am confident the president I saw slow down, roll down the window and wave with a smile at this young chap walking along State House Road more than 29 years ago, surely would have the compassion and enough temerity to honor the request.

It is my prayer that you do so and that whatever decision you reach, if you do, it is the right decision for the good of the country for I am sure you’ll agree our country should and must come first.

Sincerely,

/s

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

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7 Comments

Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Politics

 

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7 responses to “An Open Letter to H.E. Retd. President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, C.G.H.

  1. Smartex

    August 16, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    I now understand why the former president, Moi ran this country down; your type of advisers. You are so mistaken! Look at all odds, they are all against Raila’s bid for presidency. The latest polls even show that the inherently indecisive Kalonzo Musyoka, would beat him in a run-off. Your alleged first meeting with the former head of state is well crafted to elicit sympathy from him but again your so mistaken because Kenyans are past the idea of succession politics. At least not for candidates endorsed by Moi.
    Point of order! Who told you Kenyans would be happy if Raila ascended to power? And why do you so painstakingly want him as president?
    NB: The reasons that you give Moi for support of Raila are all lame. How many people do you think suffered in the hands of that regime, in detention? What about Koigi wa Wamwere. Raila is that class; what we can do with Koigi is what we should with Raila. Kibaki opposed Moi, why was he not detained? Because he was entirely logical, thoughtful and responsible. Raila has no mind of his own, that’s why he has no development record, only a political record. What should that benefit kenyans with?
    something else, Raila is an inherent and perennial escapist. He never tackles issues, at best, he just gives asides (roadside declarations). Which he cannot commit to.
    Please just give Kenyans a break and talk on your own behalf because the last time I checked, you are not an elected leader for you to talk on behalf of them.

     
  2. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    August 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Smartex,

    Several things in response to your comment:

    First, Kalonzo cannot beat a mannequin of himself, so I would not pay attention to any poll that says he can beat Raila.

    Second, I know most Kenyans will be happy if Raila is elected president and those who may not be, will in due time after he takes over.

    Thirds, you cannot possibly tell me anything that Moi did or did not do while in power that I do no know. BTW, Koigi Wa Wamwere was once a client so you can assume I know more about his detention than you do.

    Fourth, you obviously do not know the history of Kibaki viz the quest to force reforms in Kenya that resulted in the detentions of the likes of Raila and company when you seem to naively believe he was thus engaged and spared only because he was “logical, thoughtful and responsible.”

    Even he would laugh at that assessment.

    Fifth, Raila does have a mind of his own. Stay tuned when the campaigns are afoot and he will tell you how much he has accomplished in office, even as his hands are tied in the back by Kibaki and his cohorts who have made it their mission that Raila does not succeed as PM or at least if he does, he does so minimally.

    Sixth, Raila never tackles issues? Have you ever had of the fight to defeat passage of a watered down constitution led by Raila that gave rise, otherwise known as the Orange Democratic Movement? What about the save the Mau forest campaign led by Raila? What about the stopping Kibaki on dead on his tracks before he could violate the newly minted constitution in efforts to illegally and unconstitutionally appoint his cronies to important constitutional offices? Should I go on?

    I speak for myself and like minded Kenyans.

    Rather than attempting to stop me from doing so, you should either do the same or heed your own counsel and speak for yourself.

    If you believe that only elected leaders can speak on behalf of Kenyans, then I don’t know which world you live in.

    Peace, Love and Unity

    Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

     
  3. george muhia

    October 27, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    this is really good but if i wanted towrite to the former resident which adress would I use?

     
  4. george muhia

    October 27, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    the postal or e.mail would do

     
  5. George muhia

    December 6, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    To justify myself,the former president Moi is and will remain the only one person id like to talk to one on one if that is even possible,he drives me n i like the manner he did his duties,av been searching for a way of getting him but my means are fruitless,anyone with a means can contact me.thru spiketm24@yahoo.com.

     
  6. Samuel N. Omwenga

    December 6, 2011 at 4:07 PM

     
  7. G.NDUNGU

    December 24, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    All this is nonsense. W e dont need Moi anywhere. He messed us and reason of all the mess we are facing.Infact he should be rotting in jail by now were it not for his meddling.Save us us look forward to something concrete and let democracy prevail be it Odinga/Kalonzo we are all kenyan and dont need an individual to mess us again.

     

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