UPCOMING KENYAN ELECTIONS
December 14, 2007
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Letter to the People of Limuru,
Protect Your Families: Vote for an MP With Integrity
I am writing this letter because many people have asked me about what I think of the current elections in Limuru. As you know, Limuru is very important in Kenya’s history. Tigoni was the centerpiece of anti-colonial resistance. As those of you may remember, the recovery of the stolen lands around Tigoni was the reason why in 1929 the Kikuyu Central Association first sent Jomo Kenyatta to England.
Fellow Limurians, you are now going through yet another exciting moment in our history when you are having another chance to put the President of your choice to Power.
The last five years of Kibaki’s rule, 2002-2007, have been the freest in Kenya’s history. Nobody has been imprisoned with or without trial or killed or forced into exile because of his political views or for criticizing Mwai Kibaki and his government. I have been in many conversations in which people have told me how happy they are to access electricity and market for their milk, tea and maize. I pray that you will chose to return Mwai Kibaki to power so that he can give us more peace, stability and progress for Limuru and the country in the next five years.
A leader is like a master builder. But he can only build a house with the material he has got. You send him poles that are crooked, he will build a crooked house. You give him poles that are strong and not eaten by ants, and he will build you a house that cannot be eaten by ants or swayed by the wind. That is why Mwai Kibaki has asked that you send him people of good character. So vote character and not party label. He wants people with a clean record. And it is not enough that such a person is a free citizen, for you and I know that criminals can also buy freedom and walk in our midst with money. Money can never buy truth.
There are some crooks who encourage violent robbery and even rape of women openly. Those are easy to isolate. But there will be others who are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will come with money so shiny that it can blind the eye so that you don’t see the wolf inside the sheep’s clothing. The Bible says that Judas was very close to Jesus. He sold Jesus for money. That is why I urge you, the good people of Limuru, to cast your vote for a person without the blemishes of violence, corruption and other social wrongs. Remember that Lucifer was once an angel. Please don’t send a Judas to parliament for he may end up selling you for thirty pieces of silver.
It would be ironic if the Limuru that in 1929 sent Jomo Kenyatta to England to agitate for our lands and Freedom should now, when we are beginning to enjoy that freedom, send a person with a blemish to Parliament.
Dear Limuru voters: You have a very important role to play in helping Kibaki create a good, strong and clean government by sending the right person to Parliament. Let us then do our part. Whoever you are, a man or woman, farmer, worker, teacher, business person, priest or church goer, I urge you to please cast your vote wisely and send Kibaki a person of known integrity. Limuru will rise again.
Yours in the spirit,
Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o