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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A prayer for us all in these times of joy and hunger

BY MUTUMA MATHIU

To my friends, my enemies, to all those to whom I owe one and those who owe me one, to the broke and the rich, the ordinary, unremarkable people of this country and to the rich and the famous, to all drunks and prostitutes of the Republic of Kenya, to all thieves and murderers, to the august House, which would muzzle the Press, and his Excellency the Presido, who might not allow it, to Dr Bitange Ndemo and Mr Samuel Poghisio, the enemies-in-chief of freedom, to all officers, men and women of the armed forces, those serving abroad and those here at home, just wearing cheap Chinese boots, to intelligence officers, spies, their bosses, and all those who look through keyholes to keep our country safe, to all men and women of goodwill and bad will, the public-spirited, kind ones and the home wreckers, fornicators, adulterers and rapists, to the child murderers, the arsonists, the ethnic chauvinists, to the corruption barons who have stolen our maize and caused untold misery and hunger, to the corrupt politicians of all ages whose activities have undermined the capacity of our military to fight and are gnawing away at the intestines of our economy, to the cowards who cover their asses and never stand for anything, to the men and women of stout heart who stood for the truth and now live in abject poverty, to all the con men who have cheated me this year, to the generous people of this land who helped those who stood in need of help, to those weak-kneed men who are sat on by their wives, the bad wives who sit on their husbands, the good husbands who sit on their wives, the average ones who take turns sitting on each other, the hopeless bastards who father children but do not care for them and the equally hopeless women who fall for their wiles, to the beautiful children of this country to whom we owe a decent future, to the men and women in jail and those who are hired to oppress them, to all policemen, drunk or sober, clever, or as is more common, idiotic, out hunting the bribe or gunning down a thug or some innocent bloke, to all the matatu drivers who make our lives such hell and those of their passengers short, to the fathers of City Hole who have no brains and exist to rob us, to charismatic preachers extorting money from silly housewives and the good pastors who minister to the millions, to Aids patients who are lonely and betrayed by their loved ones, to caring relatives who mind the weak and infirm, to orphans, widows and the happily married, to those who can’t conceive and those who can, to all women of Kenya who have big bottoms and those who have small ones, to the real men of my native land and the metrosexual wimps who change nappies for a living, the beautiful ones and the not-so-beautiful ones, the virtuous and the perverts, to all my beloved countrymen, season’s greetings in the name of the Holy Black Lip.

We’ve had such a lousy year that, Heaven knows, we need a break from our goodness and badness. You know, if I were Alice in Wonderland, I would ask all the bad, bad people to be good people next year so that we can all have an easier time.

But I am not, and they won’t. So we will have to come back, pick up the cudgels and fight on. For some strange reason, the deity in my mother-tongue is referred to as what would translate as the Black Lip.

Let us pray. Let’s throw ourselves on our knees and ask for salvation from our avaricious politicians, murderous neighbours and our lascivious rivals.

A mixed bag
Dear Black Lip, we come to your presence on this important date, a mixed bag of good and bad people. I’d love to be able to say that there ar more good people than bad people, or that the good people are equal to the bad people, but I am a journalist. I can’t.

We all want to be rich without having to work for it, which makes us terrible people, but we also want peace and security for our country. We want fairness and justice, even for the guys who are broke and can’t afford to buy magistrates and cops or the Sh52 posho for Christmas.

There are a thousand things to pray for, but we shall just present the most urgent ones.

First, we’d like to pray for our great leaders, His Excellency the Presido and the other one who has just been elected in a Kanu election, where the result was fixed beforehand. Don’t give them wisdom, it will only encourage them to become wajuaji (know-it-alls). But do give them courage.

For Mr Kibaki to remove his shoe and throw it at the corrupt ones who have stolen our maize.

For Mr Odinga to stamp out the rebellions and small power centres in his party, which will likely render him useless to the country. Give him the courage to grab someone by the neck, put his boot on their backside and throw them out of the party so that he can get on with the business of reform.

Give the killers in the ethnic clashes the courage to face the tribunal — and the consequences of their actions — with calm dignity, and not to wail like women at the prospect of jail.

To General Jeremiah Kianga, the wisdom to buy new trucks and good boots for our soldiers and the courage to send Navy missile boats off the coast of Somalia with orders to shoot first and waterboard the survivors later.

To John Michuki, the wisdom to leave M-Pesa alone.

Enough brains
To all Kenyans, just enough brains to realise that flashy young men with a Kanu past, glib talk and unsubstantiated allegations are not heroes; they are the villains and thieves: we should only elect rich old men who have stolen enough.

Dear Black Lip, this one you must grant us even if you deny us all others:

Let there be food on every table and a present for every child, even if it is a home-made toy, this Christmas Day.

And let all the saints (and perverts) say Amen.

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