Fairly good memory: Open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta…

Monday, August 5th, 2019 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Dear Mr President,

I hear you are endowed with a fairly good memory, which I verily believe to be true. In that case you recall me, from your days at the Treasury when you were in charge of the country’s money.

And since my memory does serve me well, most times, it recalls that we scribes used to say you were in luck, taking care of money that bore your father’s portrait. Actually, we quipped then that you were taking care of your dad’s cash. 

That is a story for another day.

I am aware I have taken rather long to make contact, long after you lifted the Bible and swore to protect and defend the country’s katiba, but do not let that worry you. This is a good a time as any.

The object of this letter is not really to apply for a job, but if you want to look at it like that, it is perfectly in order. Not just that: it is welcome, really.

Of boots and hanging...

You see, I am aware that your spymaster general is heading to his bundus any time now. By that, I mean he is retiring to go and tend to his livestock, now that it is what everyone does after hanging their boots. By the way, what does a spymaster hang? Listening and recording devices?

Again, we digress.

I was telling you that as you ponder the weighty matter of his replacement, you could do well to look at scribes, including Yours Truly.

You see, we scribes and Intelligence fellows do the same type of job, basically. We eavesdrop on conversations, we stalk prey (not unlike predators) and we report on matters mostly in the public interest.

I know that you are aware sections of the media report on matters that interest the public. Hiyo ni githeri media. They must be the blokes you constantly refer to when you say gazeti ni ya kufungia nyama. Us guys in serious media deal with real issues in real time.

We unearth scams and scandals that make the public weep. I need not enumerate them here. They are legion. Many times, we in media circles are way ahead of your spymaster fellow and his band of intel-gatherers.

For instance, if we want to know what you ate for dinner last night, we can. Or how many pairs of shoes you possess. Or the value of your wristwatches. Its only a few calls away. We snoop, and thereafter separate fact from fiction.

From the foregoing, you could do well to look for a veteran scribe and appoint him to become the next chief spymaster. Again, I am not asking you to consider me but I am certain you get the drift.

I said in the beginning this is not an application for a job. I am just a friend helping a pal to recruit to fill a special position. In good faith.

Another reason you will be served well by recruiting a media personality is that we keep secrets. Trust me, sir, most of what we get to know is neither published nor publishable. And it is a lot, way beyond your wildest imagination. Haki!

It therefore follows that secrets gathered in the course of duty will be extremely safe. Believe you me we are not like Sonko, who will spill the beans with or without provocation.

What I am asking for is not very hard. Some years back, you picked a media guy called Manoah Esipisu to work in your office as his master’s voice. And just the other day, you picked yet another media personality, Kanze Dena Mararo to work for you.


I am trying to say that you have already set a precedent, as lawyers say, so it will be just a natural path for you to take.

Please feel free to consult me to guide you on the way forward. I mean I have spent a few decades in this business, so I can tell you which ones are upstarts masquerading as veterans, which ones know too little and talk too much, and which ones are rolling stones.

Initially, you may consult me for free, or pro bono. But in the fullness of time, you will realise that friendship cannot fuel a car or buy groceries. I know you get the drift my friend. 

In summary, as you search for the next guy or woman (this has never happened!) to head the spying outfit, you know where to start.Have a wonderful week, sir.


Veteran scribe.

The writer is Special Projects Editor, People Daily

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