I am just an ordinary Kenyan out here.
Out here is how it feels like leaving
outside the well-guarded gates of the State
house. Unlike you Mr. President, out here
ordinary Kenyans like me only dream of
the kind of Security you, your family, your
cabinet and your political friends enjoy.
For most of us out here, its survival for
the fittest; as am writing you this letter, I
am lucky to say that I am one of those
Kenyans who might have not been victims
of the ongoing terror mayhem that have
become the order of the day out here. I
am lucky Mr. President, because that’s
what it’s like to live each day out here,
outside the well-guarded state house. And
even as I enjoy my luck, I wonder how
long this may last.
I am one of those
Kenyans who spent half a day to ensure
we had someone like you enjoy the
security you’re currently having.
I fulfilled my mandate as a Kenyan, to
ensure your security was guaranteed so
that you were physically and mentally
provided with an atmosphere good enough
to ensure I and other ordinary Kenyans
lived with a semblance of content that
someone is in control.
That I’ll get back
straight home from work without looking
over my shoulders or under the bus seats
to ensure I live one more day out here.
Last year in September, I watched with
shock as terrorists took over a shopping
mall and blatantly took the lives of over
60 Kenyans. I cried for my country, my
I longed for those days when all we could
witness these heinous acts were in an
action movie at the Kenyan Cinemas. But
even there, I don’t feel safe anymore. Last
night after I saw an update on Mpeketoni
attack I went to sleep and prayed that the
incident would be brought under control
and the culprits brought to book for
attacking a police Station.
I woke up this
morning and the first thing I did was to
check the social media for more
information on what became of the
previous night incident.
Mr. President, close to 48 Kenyans,
ordinary Kenyans like me lay lifeless out
here. For the enemy, the atmosphere
smelt of victory but for the ordinary
Kenyan out here, fear and confusion
gripped us as we watched in shock.
Unfortunately, out here, this seems to be
the order of the day. I might have been
tempted to imagine that had these
ordinary Kenyans a quarter of the security
you have guarding you at the state house
guarding the entire Mpeketoni, perhaps
the enemy would have had little chances
of even thinking of an attack.
But who are they, who are we to compare
ourselves to you, the President! We’re just
ordinary Kenyans! But I believe, had
someone done their job right, the ordinary
Kenyan out here would have gone back
home to their families like you did to
yours last night and have some family
time without worrying of their security.
Just recently, we saw the West scramble
jets to the coastal towns to evacuate their
citizens amidst fears that there was an
impending major attack in the region.
All these time I looked up to you, the man
we fulfilled our half day mandate to
ensure our safety out here provided
leadership and ensured the enemy failed.
Mr. President I remember clearly you said
the security agencies were working
tirelessly to ensure the safety of each and
every individual Kenyan. I took a deep
breath and prayed that they would shame
the enemy and keep us out here safe.
Last night Mr. President, I understand that the
enemy visited; they took not just minutes
or an hour, but four hours to cause all the
damage that left the ordinary individual
Kenyan you assured us the security
agencies would protect. Four hours these
Kenyans waited, perhaps hoping that this
situation would be contained. A four hour
wait that ensured victory to the enemy.
Oh Mr. President, I am scared. The
question is, can I take your word for my
safety anymore? I am scared because
outside here, I have to continue checking
under the seats of the bus as I go home or
to work. I have to alight when I see
someone I don’t trust. Outside here, fear
is what keeps us safe; fear is all I depend
on to stay alive.
Just a few weeks ago, you
came to address the nation driving in a
bullet proof Land cruiser, so we were told.
This is the security I gave you.
I’m not lucky to have a bomb proof car to
protect me from the hawk eye of an
enemy. I didn’t at any point doubt your
safety that day, neither do I now because
Mr. President, I had done my job well
enough to keep you safe, so you could
ensure I felt safer.
I am a worried Kenyan,
because out here, outside the gates of the
state security you’re enjoy, countless
Kenyans like me will continue losing their
lives in this senseless blood bath. All I can
hold onto is hope. Because unlike me Mr.
President, that’s a luxury you cannot
You must not remain hopeful that things
will be better. You have to take action and
do it now.
Stop forming commission of
inquiries and get us people who can do the
job. This is not just about condemnation
and knee jerk reactions; it’s about doing all what it takes to ensure we’re safe out here.
I hope i live another day out here that i don’t need to look over my shoulder because you’ve already done that for me. A day that i wouldn’t need to look under the bus seats to feel safer, a day that i would welcome and have a casual chat with the person seated next to me in the bus without feeling insecure or suspicious.
That is the Kenya, we want outside here. We don’t need bomb or bullet proof cars to feel safe. We don’t need the police driving chase cars around us to feel safe. But what we want is not to have all these but still feel safe to be kenyan in our very own Kenyan way. I demand to be safe in my country. I demand to be safe out here too.
Yours Fearfully Kenyan,
George Mkenya Halisi