I HAVE been an ardent reader of your Candid Comment column over the last year and a half. It really has some candid comments on a host of topics.
I refer to last week’s Candid Comment (Zimbabwe Independent, July 4-10) headlined “Bloody idiots and a good Bongoman”’ However, with respect to what used to be the “White Highlands” in Kenya (equivalent to the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe but almost “doubly” beautiful), you were guilty of vertical exaggeration if not irresponsibly dishonest.
The white “Bwana” of yore is a relic of the days before 1978. The poor Kenyans you saw butchered in the political thuggery of early this year were beneficiaries of small plots on what used to be the white farms. In Kenya the white man was not given a 20-year moratorium after Independence.
Kenyans had a very clear view of what they wanted and it was land. If you seriously want to be helpful to Zimbabweans on the issue of land, you should travel around Kenya’s highlands for a week – and then write a masterpiece. I believe Zimbabwe’s newly settled small-scale farmers would thank you for it.
As for Mwai Kibaki, please remember the man has been elected to the Kenyan parliament successively ever since 1963. He left a teaching job (Economics) at Makerere University, Uganda in 1962 to become the National Executive Officer of the Kenya African National Union (Kanu), and won his seat in the 1963 Independence elections.
He served in the Jomo Kenyatta administration as assistant Finance minister and later Finance minister for 15 years. He was Vice-President of Kenya under President Moi for 10 years. That is not exactly what one could seriously “sell” as a “foreign creation”.
That is not to say that I condone the post-election violence that ensued.
I do not think that in this day and age you can condemn all Siamese twins the way you seem to think. Thanks to science, several have been saved and I hope many more will survive in the future.
If you care so much about the truth, please publish this rejoinder.