Shailja Patel: An open letter to Samuel Kivuitu, Chair of the Electoral Commission of Kenya

Mr. Kivuitu,

We’ve never met. It’s unlikely we ever will. But, like every other Kenyan, I will remember you for the rest of my life. The nausea I feel at the mention of your name may recede. The bitterness and grief will not.

You had a mandate, Mr. Kivuitu. To deliver a free, fair and transparent election to the people of Kenya. You and your commission had 5 years to prepare. You had a tremendous pool of resources, skills, technical support, to draw on, including the experience and advice of your peers in the field – leaders and experts in governance, human rights, electoral process and constitutional law. You had the trust of 37 million Kenyans.

We believed it was going to happen. On December 27th, a record 65% of registered Kenyan voters rose as early as 4am to vote. Stood in lines for up to 10 hours, in the sun, without food, drink, toilet facilities. As the results came in, we cheered when minister after powerful minister lost their parliamentary seats. When the voters of Rift Valley categorically rejected the three sons of Daniel Arap Moi, the despot who looted Kenya for 24 years. The country spoke through the ballot, en masse, against the mindblowing greed, corruption, human rights abuses, callous dismissal of Kenya’s poor, that have characterised the Kibaki administration.

But Kibaki wasn’t going to go. When it became clear that you were announcing vote tallies that differed from those counted and confirmed in the constituencies, there was a sudden power blackout at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where the returns were being announced. Hundreds of GSU (General Service Unit) paramilitaries suddenly marched in. Ejected all media except the government mouthpiece Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

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4 thoughts on “Shailja Patel: An open letter to Samuel Kivuitu, Chair of the Electoral Commission of Kenya”

  1. Dear Shailje, Shailja or whatever ya fucking name is. We’ve never met, and i dont fancy meeting a fool of ya calibre. i don’t know who gave you the mandate to write to kivuitu. You have never, and will never be the sixth sense of kenyans, in all ya useless misbegotten life, if there is any left.
    You sound like Raila, i guess you are his brother. Have never seen Kivuitu burning someones house. Am sure you will be hit by a stray bullet and die like a dog knocked down by a speeding car. And the radio station you went to air ya fucked up views, they will go down coz, they have nothing to do on air. They lost purpose n direction. Fuck them. In deed, fuck Kiss 100, fuck Caroline, hope she dies in the skirmishes too.
    You are still what you have struggled all ya dirty life to deny, A TOTAL FUCKING ARSEHOLE. Am ready to blow you out in a suicide bomb attack.

    Fuck you in advance

  2. I guess we ought to get facts straight before we come to conclusions that have far reaching effects. As much as our brother is entitled to his own opinions, they seem misguided. An appeal to the passion, or an attack of the same through ignorance is a fallacy. It is true that many people have died and no one in his right mind would be happy about that. It is also true that we shall never heal from these barbaric acts that have rocked Kenya and Her people. But let us not deceive ourselves and allow these terible times cloud our judgement. Blaming Kivuitu for the violence in is looking for a scapegoat where there is none. Kivuitu had a purpose and obligation, within the law which he performed as required. At an instance, People have Kivuitu a he devil nad all, but that is because they have nowhere else to direct their anger. They have failed to realse that the real cause of the bloodshed and mayhem is as a result of the very poor supreme law of the land,our Constitution, and the very opiniated and arroant ‘leaders’ in the name of the POLITICIANS.
    Get facts straight and direct your anger to those who hunger for power and nobody else!!!!!!!!