Open letter to Deputy President William Ruto
That salutation sounds pretty formal, even boring, so let us dispense with all this official crap and be like real nice buddies. So, here goes.
Now that sounds really cool.
I know that it is pretty long since we last met those days you were in an outfit called Youth For Kanu 92.
Aah, those days. You fellows were swimming in money. Almost literally. And you managed to make one Daniel Toroitich arap Moi retain the job of chief executive officer of a country loosely referred to as Kenya. But that is a story for another day.
I was telling you we have not met for eons. In between, your fortunes have fluctuated from a hustler to MP to being a suspect before the ICC and finally Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.
It would be a good idea to invite old friends for a cup of tea and I really mean a cup of tea. I hail from an area where this crop is grown and I love the beverage.
You see, I have seen pictures of your residence, which I helped to build (as an unfailing though unwilling taxpayer) and I must say it looks like it is straight from a James Bond movie. I call it residence because that is dramatically different from the humble abode, which I call my house.
In the latter, even cockroaches routinely starve to death because we eat everything that is cooked every day. The poor insects have learned to leave us alone and merely pop in to just peep, sniff and walk away with ill-concealed disdain.
But back to our friendship.
I was telling you that I admire the manner you have come up, from a chicken vendor to Deputy President.
I love chicken. My better half tried rearing them years ago but the damn things would cannibalise each other if they were not fed on time. How did you manage the birds, without eating them one every weekend?
Over the tea that you are planning to invite me to, I would love to get a tip or two about how to upgrade from rearing chicken to building a residence worth hundreds of millions.
You see, I tried running a pub some years ago but friends supported me by drinking half the stock on credit, all the while addressing me as “brother”. Their sense of brotherhood obviously needs redefining but that is yet another story altogether.
One of these days, you will want to write a bestselling biography, in which you will tell us the story of your life.
I can hardly wait to either help you put it together or read it after it is in the bookstores. I also hope you will not dupe us like some of our Kenyan millionaires have done in their autobiographies.
Let me bring you up to speed. A guy called Njenga Karume wrote the story of his life. I read it, hoping to see just how he upgraded from selling charcoal to being a millionaire, sorry billionaire. There was a grey area there.
Being a man of the world, I know you will avoid this sort of trickery and tell me, over tea, precisely how the transformation takes place.
Between high school and university, I know you were in the Christian Union and carried a Bible around. So, hopefully, you haven’t changed much (for the worse, that is!).
If you are the same guy referred to as Holy Joe by your peers who did not exactly share your approach to life just then, you will tell me much more about your secrets to life, how to make it sooner than your peers and stuff like that.
See, as the DP, it is your sacred duty to teach the rest of us ordinary mortals how to “jipanga” and go beyond your peers, in the words you used to tell one Cyrus Jirongo how he fell by the wayside as you progressed. Didn’t you tell him “mambo ni kujipanga bwana”?
Being the host, you are well aware the issues raised above need not be the only agenda of our tea party but they will no doubt be interesting.
While we are at it, please feel free to invite your boss over. I hear he likes tea too. Am I right?
Patrick Wachira (still a loyal scribe).
– The writer is Special Projects Editor, People Daily