Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An open letter to GEMA

By Mutahi Ngunyi

This is a letter to the "House of Mumbi", those of the GEMA community. I address you as the son of a"Mau Mau hustler".

I have three thoughts from my late father. When I was a boy, he gave me stories about a guy called Gikuyu and his girl, Mumbi. The two founded the tribe. They had nine girls or something like that. No son. And they lived happily thereafter. But I had questions about this romantic relationship. As a boy, I asked my father, who married the nine girls?

He kept quiet. Then I asked him: if they got children, who was their father? How was the tribe created? He got violent. In fact, he gave me a beating for asking questions "without legs". But then later, I figured that maybe he had no answer. Or maybe there was a hidden secret in the tribe. I became curious. And so I began my boyish inquiry. If the only man in the tribe was Gikuyu, did he have children with his daughters?

This thought was appalling beyond. My father would have killed me for thinking so. I had to settle on a more acceptable deduction. That is, if Gikuyu had nine daughters, their children must have been fathered by other tribes i.e. the Maasai, Ndorobo, Luo, Luhya, and all. But even this my father would not accept. I had to rest my case.

Allow me now to interpret my boyish deductions. To reproduce your GEMA tribe, you have only two choices. One, you can choose the path of incest. This is the path of in-breeding and sin. Although shameful, it is the path you chose in 2007. And the results are obvious: political incest can only produce mongoloids.

This is what you have in the coalition government. The second choice is the one taken by Gikuyu and Mumbi. They sent their daughters to breed with others. This is how the tribe survived. Your survival, therefore, depends on others: the Maasai, Ndorobo, Luo, Luhya and all. And, on this, the alternatives are zero.

My father’s second thought was given when I got circumcised. But not explicitly. He had a telephone at home, what you would call an antique today. As a way of controlling it, he locked it using a padlock from the government. He always carried the key. One day, he came home for lunch. He needed to call his boss badly.

Unfortunately, he had forgotten the key at the office. The man was desparate. And from the "kindness" of our hearts, my brother Peter and I decided to help. We tapped the phone for him. He watched in amazement as we handed the receiver for him to talk to the boss. When he finished his call, he stared at us with a 
"kali sana" face.

But instead of punishing us, he decided to remove the padlock for good. He knew we were smarter now. After all, we had just gotten circumcised. And this is how he gave us the second thought about the tribe. Explaining his frustration with the phone call, he told us that the Gikuyu had two categories of people: the "ahoi" and the "athomi". The "ahoi" were the poor.

In rural areas they walk around without shoes, their feet all cracked up. And in urban areas, they are the "shamba boys"‘
, the drivers and the cooks. As a driver, he told us he was in the urban group of "ahoi". The "athomi" were the educated and propertied. They were also arrogant, insensitive and ruthless.

This is why he needed to make the phone call; he had to drop their children somewhere. His point? The 
"athomi" did not think much of the "ahoi". They saw them as slaves of sorts. And this is how you must understand President Kibaki. Most of you follow him blindly. In fact, because you are in the "ahoi" group, he expects you to.

Unfortunately, and together with the "athomi", he dragged you into a state of civil war. They used you. And since the "athomi" are untouchable, you bore the brunt of the violence. Where are your IDPs today? In the meantime, you think the presidency is yours. Zero. It belongs to the "athomi".

Allow me to describe your position as "ahoi" using a story. A man set out on a journey through a thick forest full of thorns and rocks. Suddenly, an elephant appeared and gave him chase. He took off and went to hide in a well. To his horror, he saw a huge snake at the bottom of the well.

He had to cling to a thorny creeper that was growing around it. Looking up, he saw two mice chewing the creeper he was hanging on. But just as he was contemplating his next move, he saw a beehive next to his mouth. Occasional drops of honey were trickling from the hive. And this man tasted the honey. He got confused.

Although a kind man offered to help him out of his trouble, he refused. He wanted to be excused until he had enjoyed himself to the full. Not clever. Good people, you are behaving like this man. You have seen a beehive dripping with honey.

And although you are hanging on a thin creeper between an angry elephant and a snake, you don’t care. You want to enjoy the honey, the presidency. Unfortunately, the creeper will snap and you will have to deal with the snake at the bottom of the well. On this, the choice is yours.

The third thought regards Mungiki. When my father joined Mau Mau, they called it a Mungiki-type movement. Yet it was a group of restless young people whose "wazees" had lost direction. I want to put it to you that you have no leadership. The "wazees" in your ranks have reached intellectual menopause. And in this state, they have exhibited unnecessary arrogance towards others.

As a shareholder in your tribe, I submit that you need new leadership. A leadership that will cause you to climb down in the interest of the country. One that is not beholden to the "athomi" and one that will respect the other communities.

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