An Open Letter to Kenyan President William Ruto

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Kenyan President William Ruto and U.S. President Joe Biden, with their wives, meeting at the White House before a state dinner on May 23, 2024.

Dear William Ruto,

The images of your recent State visit to the USA were very disturbing to me and to every patriotic Kenyan.

I saw you seated on a chair, grinning, while Biden stood behind you, his face beaming with satisfaction. Why not? He had just announced that you had signed off our beloved Kenya to make it a non-member ally of NATO.

In other words, you had agreed to become NATO’s errand boy in America’s struggle with Russia and China for access to resources of the continent.

Ruto, do you know that NATO, murdered Muammar Gaddafi, so that Libyan oil-fields which Gaddafi had nationalized, would revert to the West? Gaddafi was once the chairman of the African Union of which Kenya was a founding member.

Ruto, do you see the irony of your actions?

But this other picture was no less disturbing. While you were inside the White House, Haitians were in the streets demonstrating, calling you a slave. Do you know the history of Haiti? Please read The Black Jacobins, the book written by a once Jomo Kenyatta Pan-African ally, C L R James.

Haiti, now a Black people’s State, used to be a slave colony of France. But led by Toussaint Louverture, Haiti, the richest colony of its time, fought French slavery and in 1804 it seized its independence. In the USA slavery was then in full bloom. America did not want its African slaves to emulate Haiti, and it has never forgiven Haiti for that and thus began the story of America’s destabilization of Haiti.

Ruto, do you see the irony of your actions? The USA was originally a settler colony taking over the land that belonged to Native Americans. In 1776 The White settlers declared their independence from their English King. But the colonized Native Americans remained colonized. Kenya was equally a British settler colony.

The white settlers wanted to have a similar kind of Independence. But the Mau Mau led by Dedan Kimathi stopped them. Years later, Algeria, Rhodesia and South Africa would follow the example of Kenya.

Thus the country you now lead, was the first to stop the historical trend of white settlers claiming themselves independent as in America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Ruto, you have chosen to betray that history of Pride.

Ruto, you have chosen to become an agent of the West?

Ruto, you have chosen to sell your country cheap.

Why, oh, Why?

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Atlanta, Georgia
May 28, 2024


Originally published in AsheNews. Ngugi wa Thiong’o is a Kenyan author and academic, who has been described as “East Africa‘s leading novelist.” His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children’s literature.

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