I spent most of my time taking pictures and walking the cleaner parts of Nairobi. I took several pictures. I wanted to take the pictures of the most venerated and respected dead man in the world Mzee Jomo Kenyatta the Kenyan first President that led Kenya to independence. His grave is covered in 3 acres of land on the side of Kenyan Parliament building. Its guarded by four armed me with AK47s, neat in their red outfits.
The grave is in a better, flowered house, well maintained with taxpayer’s money, built in a nice looking home in a prime land with two great symbols of lions. Kenyans worship this guy I think, his graveyard, in addition to the armed men, it has 24 hour surveillance cameras placed in all corners if the land and all sides.
It’s honored by 24 ever waving Kenyan National flags and no one is allowed to take pictures. It’s against the law of Kenya to take pictures in this area and almost every one warned me whenever they saw me with a camera in my neck, posing as a foreign journalist.
I walked up to the guards in hope that they will allow me to have pictures but declined even to talk .They simply told me,” not even Kenyans are allowed" I knew this way back in 2003 when I came to Nairobi for the first time, but that time, I didn’t have my camera, I had to hire a cameraman. There are hundreds of them, fatty men whose income depends on those who are in need of posing to be nationalists and patriotic Kenyans.
I went to the UHURU park and took the picture from a far distant range, I by passed many Kenyans lying in the grass with no hope of finding lunch and no idea how the day will end, and they could not even think that the man they worship is simply the source of their suffering. Call me what you want but I put it on Jomo Kenyatta that he is the reason why many Kenyans are poorer yet his family and friends run almost 80% of all hotel and property business within the Central business district and the surrounding townships. Just like Uganda, tribalism and Nepotism are both worsen cancer in Kenyan Government and its crippling Kenya. Since independence, there’s a tribe in Kenya which thinks that they are more human, more Kenyan than other tribes in Kenya, as a result, they occupy almost all the jobs and land within Kenya. It’s this cancer that led the blood of many innocents flow like floods in the streets of Kenya after the elections of December 2008.
I recall reading an interview by Uhuru Kenya when he just returned to Kenyan around 2003, he told the interview that he had 800 million dollars and he believed to be poorer. Uhuru Kenyatta lived outside Kenya most of his life but because his family and cliques didn’t want anyone take the leadership of KANU, Former President Moi invited him back to take the leadership of what they consider to be “Family business” call it KANU political party. He not only invited him, but he deeply campaigned for him during both KANU and Presidential elections which show President Kibaki come to office during his first time.
Just like many Ugandans, 80% of Kenyans depend on less than a dollar a day, therefore, the decision by the Kenyan Government to spend millions of funds maintaining the grave of a dead hero beats my understanding. Almost all roads, all national assets are either named after him or his party which was KANU yet the service delivery by Kenyan Government is frustrating.
Evenning came,I had submitted my visa applications and it was now time to return to Kampala. My bus was to leave at 8pm so I had plenty of time to walk around. You can check on Nairobi anytime but unless you get on the right matatu (Swahili word for minivans in Kenya that operates public transport), you may never leave. It’s a city!