An Open Letter To “General” Ababu Namwamba From A Diaspora

An Open Letter To “General” Ababu Namwamba From A Diaspora

Dearest Honorable Member of Parliament for Budalang’i constituency-Mr. Ababu Tawfiq Namwamba. Receive my warmest greetings from the cold and snowy city of brotherly love also known as Philadelphia, USA.

Sir, I bet you will be elated to know that you were in my thoughts and prayers even as “enemies of development” flogged you through impeachment motion to cast a vote of no confidence in you as the chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over allegations of bribery and heavy handedness.

However, even though you survived impeachment, I strongly encourage you to clear your name so as you can reclaim your shaken credibility. Allegations leveled against you are serious. They have potential to ruin your leadership.

Nonetheless sir, I want you to know that I hold you with utmost respect. You’re one of the self made politicians whose mobilization and strategic thinking skills paved way for you to sit with the kings.

Although I haven’t met you in person, I’m sure we’ve interacted on an intellectual level through reading each other’s opinion pieces published in Kenya’s daily newspapers. Intellectually speaking, I hold you in high esteem for your outlook on issues. You articulate issues in a magnificent manner. In fact, you’ve influenced a significant part of my thinking and writing skills.

My intellectual acquaintance with you dates back to the times when you used to express your weekly opinion in the Standard newspaper when you were living in Washington DC, United States of America. You espoused bravery and smart.

Since then, I have never doubted your ability to engage and transform communities. While I don’t know your development record in Bugalang’i, I’m sure your constituents appreciate your representation and achievements. Your star is bright. Your future is promising and your potential is limitless.

Yet, in spite of your personal achievements sir, I struggle to grasp what you really stand for. What is Ababu Namwamba’s doctrine in relation to Kenya’s socio-political situation? That is the question I grapple with. I suspect many Kenyans grapple with it too.

Although you are young, smart, articulate and brave; you haven’t maximized your potential to actualize changes Kenyans and youth in particular can believe in.

Your youthful exuberance seems to be out of touch with the needs of young Kenyans who yearn for compelling role models. You strike me as a new wine in the old wine skin-it appears glamorous but it’s tasteless and wasted.

Your tenure as cabinet minister for youth and sport in the defunct coalition government left no landmark to define you as a trendsetter. As a lawmaker, the closest you came to capturing national attention was when you defiantly took oath of office in the name of Raila Odinga instead of Mwai Kibaki in contravention of the tradition. However, that attention was sectarian not universal.

Mr Namwamba, you’ve never inspired a single bill in your name that can capture the heartbeat of the nation and define brand Ababu.

Your rhetoric is articulate. Your written opinion is compelling. However, your words are never translated into tangible actions. In your spoken and written words you mostly whine just like an ordinary Kenyan.

Yet, unlike ordinary Kenyans, you’ve got a powerful lawmaking platform you can take advantage of to bring changes.

In the face of staggering corruption, dangerous ethnicity, institutional mediocrity and lackluster public service delivery, you’ve either been on the fence or your response hasn’t been good enough to prick the conscience of the nation. You seem comfortable inter-coursing with the status quo.

Sadly, your middle-ground approach has earned you unnecessary name tags such as opportunist, rent seeker and mole-which are used against you in relation to your association or lack thereof with the ruling administration on one hand and the opposition side on the other. Your loyalty is currently subject to open interpretation.

When the maize scandal broke, your name was soiled by unproven allegations of inducement to stand alongside William Ruto who was named and arraigned before parliament as a major player in the scandal. A daily nation cartoon depicted your look alike satirical drawing eating maize.

As I write this, I have a feeling your critics still believe your attention is divided between Jubilee coalition and CORD coalition. You’re yet to earn 100% support from skeptics.

You just survived a name damaging and career ending accusations suggesting that as chairman of public accounts committee, you were compromised by bribes to influence the outcome of high-profile investigations, including a probe into irregular procurement of electoral equipment and secret accounts operated by the Office of the President.

As a strategic thinker, presumably emboldened by 48 laws of power and what appears to be Machiavellian approach to your political philosophies, you should know better than playing politics as usual and sleeping in the same bed with the status quo.

You should define and stick to an authentic Ababu doctrine, inspire the cyber generation and coalesce Kenyans around a mantra of change.

I still believe in you but under the following conditions. One, redefine and rebrand the Ababu doctrine. I’m available for free consultation.

Secondly, identify and articulate in and outside of parliament what you really stand for and how you intend to bring a meaningful change.

Thirdly, raise political standards high by unapologetically fighting corruption, frowning upon negative ethnicity, promoting institutional efficiency and standing up for youths.

Perhaps you could also start identifying people oriented issues and drafting them into bills and presenting them to parliament for discussion. How about you start by drafting a bill on how to eradicate perennial starvation and enhance food security in the country? I wish you God’s speed.

By Jacktone Ambuka-a Kenyan Working and Living In Philadelphia, USA. Email: [email protected]

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