An open letter to the President of Kenya

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An open letter to the President from the youth of Kenya

No, I don’t want a job. I’m not writing to you because I want you to facilitate a loan somewhere for my colleagues and I to start a business, I’m not eager to be a slave to the countless financial oligarchs which your regime has encouraged. Neither do I want you to be merciful to my plight and pay my fees or that hospital bill which I can hardly pay. Nor do I want you to help me move to a shelter that is more decent and comfortable.

I know that you are cosy and comfortable in the great residence that the privilege of your position entitles you. The fear of unemployment and lack of basic needs which constantly bugs the majority of Kenyans is but a story that you can hardly identify with. You face an abundance of food and the finest clothing. You have access to luxuries unimaginable to most of the toiling citizens. Security is not a matter of concern to you or your family, you are surrounded by hundreds of people deployed at your service by the state. Nor do you tremble with worry when you fall ill as most of the people do; you have access to the best possible medical facilities in the country and the world at large.

Dear Mr President, I know your day is probably packed with meetings and high profile events, luncheons, dinners and the like. You get briefings from high ranking government officials about the state of the nation on a daily basis. You hold discussions with your political advisors on what to and what not to do concerning the running of the state. You meet your fellow politicians and draw up strategies on how to best carry out your campaigns as we approach the general elections. You hold meetings with your economic advisors on the appropriate economic policy for the country; with the stroke of a pen you determine how the livelihoods of millions of Kenyans are going to turn out. You meekly meet high ranking officials of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund who offer alternative measures of economic policy in exchange for the exorbitant and high interest loans from American and European financial monopoly capitalists. You hold, together with your government officials, closed door meetings with directors of huge multinational corporations who are eager to eat more into the market of our country- this at the expense of the local corporations. Under the guise of the ‘structural adjustment’ of our economy and the ‘sourcing of foreign capital’, you place the millions of the toiling masses of the country under the control of a huge network of financial and industrial oligarchies.

You are clearly a very busy man Mr President!

I would be lying if I said you were responsible for the state of affairs in our country today, and that you were able to change things for the better. Or would I? You see Mr President, this being a democratic republic, and your position being a mandate provided by the constitution of Kenya, means that the people have entrusted you with the power of making their lives easier. The youth of the country, constituting the bulk of the population of Kenya, particularly expect that their government works to ensure that their future is bright and secure; devoid of want, poverty and misery.

Thus begs the question; do you, Mr President, know what the people of Kenya in general and the youth of Kenya in particular want?
Kenyans want to live in a country in which they can afford the basic necessities of life. Kenyans want to live in a country in which healthcare and education, basic needs in the standards of all modern human beings, are not a privilege for the few but a service accessible to everyone at any time. Kenyans want, Mr President, to live in a society in which adequate and decent housing is affordable and accessible to everyone. The people of Kenya want to live in a country in which an increase in GDP translates to an increase in real wages, and not just huge profits for the multinational corporations which you so dearly adore, or include. The people of Kenya want to live in a country in which the real workers, the toiling masses of Kenya, the people upon whom the wealth of our country is created, actually get the full products of their labour. The workers and the farmers of our country, the people whose sweat pays for your cars, your residence, your security and all privileges of your position, demand a break from the chains of wage slavery which your regime has put them in and want a new society in which their labour will translate into better living conditions for them.

The people of Kenya in general and the youth of Kenya in particular can no longer afford to live under the difficult conditions in which our society and our system has created. The uncertainty and fear of unemployment and poverty, which grows day by day, is just too much to bear for the youth. The bondage of exorbitant and unpayable loans among individual Kenyans as well as the state itself is taking a huge toll on us. The exploitation of the labour of the millions of Kenyans by a tiny elite of individuals who don’t actually participate in the process of production but appropriate the products of our labour is counterproductive and dangerous for our existence. Our economic system has clearly not worked; it is time to make fundamental change to it. Only then, Mr President can we achieve our objective of eradicating poverty, ignorance and disease.

Yours truly,
The youth and the people of Kenya.

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