When it was announced in the news that Mugo wa wairimu will be vying for the Roysambu member of parliament seat I was with some friends and for some weird unknown reason the room went deathly quiet. No one said anything for a while as we stared at our screens disbelievingly. Then suddenly I had this urge to laugh. I just couldn’t help it. So laugh I did, even though it was the most complicated laugh of my life. A laugh mixed with a lot of emotions. A laugh full of disbelieve, anger, sadness and God knows what else. My mouth was laughing but my heart was chocking with anxiety. Anxiety about what was becoming of this once great nation. Yes, I really did say that. “Once great nation.” Billy – my best friend- then said quietly, “I hope you will still have that laughter in you when he actually gets elected and becomes a member of parliament.”
The irony was not lost on me.
I say irony because in this mighty East African nation of ours, to be elected into some of the highest positions in the land you have to have your name out there and it really doesn’t matter how you do that. You just have to get there. By whatever means. You have to play hard ball or better still, be the biggest villain. Because at the end of the day the biggest villain carries the price home.
I wouldn’t say I was even surprised by that announcement. In a country where the REAL celebrities are politicians and not artists or people who have done a lot to change our society into becoming a better place; in a country where the real celebrities are politicians and to be a politician you have to be the dirtiest, most vile, most selfish person; nothing surprises me anymore.
For those who do not know this Mugo character, he is the “fake gynecologist” who sent shockwaves in the country when a small clip was aired on primetime TV showing him sedating and raping a patient at his prestige health care clinic in Githurai 44 on 1st November 2015. Needles to say, the public outcry was huge and the number of people baying for his blood was understandably high. This is especially because just a few months prior, a prominent politician had been accused of forcefully testing a married woman for HIV and then raping her. So, yes, temperatures were high.
The “gynecologist” was arrested on September 10 in the wake of the rape allegations. He, of course, denied the charges and was released on a 1million cash bail or 5million bond. To date, no further action has been taken against the “doctor.” The whole situation is greatly frustrating because if a live footage of a person committing a crime is not enough for legal action to be taken against him, then I don’t know what else is. No, seriously.
This is how the conversation with my friends went on afterwards.
Rose; why are you guys surprised, this is Kenya, the land where impossibilities become possibilities
Steve; I agree, I don’t even know why we are surprised. When it comes to voting for the worst characters, criminals, people who break the law with impunity, people who are certified rapists and what have you, we Kenyan voters take the cake….
Billy; so you guys are right, but we cannot afford that mentality. We have to try and change things for the better…..
Steve; change things, really? How? The guy has all it takes to be a politician in Kenya. Voters will love him. He is just the right amount of dirty and he is notorious enough. Sadly, that is all that is needed to be a politician in Kenya….
Rose; In Africa….i would like to believe this happens all over Africa, not just in Kenya.
Billy; Not the whole of Africa unfortunately. We stand alone when it comes to corruption, carrying the torch very high for anyone who cares to notice….
Me; let’s calm down guys, maybe the situation isn’t as dire as we are trying to paint it.
Steve; (chuckles) yeah right. Maybe the situation isn’t as dire as we are trying to paint it. Just give me the answer to one simple question. Is there a high profile politician or just a high profile personality that was ever taken to court for a crime they did, found guilty and put behind bars? Give me just one name. I’ll wait.
(Silence. try as hard as I do, I cannot come up with one name.)
Rose: well, if that is the case, if he wins –God forbid he does- he will be in good company in parliament. That is where he belongs, amidst his sisters and brothers.
(Tight laughs. The bitterness is not lost on us.)
Billy; we can only hope…..
Of course, we can only hope. Hope for a better Kenya. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope that one day this country will be free of all these criminal elements, free of all the corruption. We can only hope that one day we will live in a society where criminals don’t find immunity in joining politics or even becoming saved and going ahead to start multibillion church investments. A country where people don’t see politics as a way of sanitizing themselves.
It is what it is and what it is, is that this country is so messed up right now we wouldn’t know where to begin if we wanted to sanitize it. But clean it we will. The exercise has to start with each of us. Maybe, just maybe, one day we will get
And yes, we can only hope. Because in all honesty, what else is there to do?