Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AN OPEN LETTER TO HON. BETH MUGO

Dear Madam,
I am writing this letter to you because I am distressed by your recent remarks about your Ministry not having enough reagents to test whether what is killing us is cholera or not. The way you said with an obvious nonchalance, was as if you were talking about running out of rocket fuel and not reagents that would ultimately save our lives.

Let me start by pointing out that I have never suffered from cholera and so I would not presume to know an inch of how much my fellow citizens are suffering. But I did come close due to a rotten choice I made this past Jamhuri day. I hate to bog you down with my woes but on that day, my eyes and mouth formed an unholy alliance and later a coalition where they agreed that so long as it looked and tasted great, it was to be wolfed down.

I am not sure whether my stomach was cleaning up or sleeping when all the wolfing was going on, but an assortment of food and drink did end up there and what followed, even though I am afraid is not half of what would happen to a cholera victim, might probably help you to see things more differently and hopefully you will rethink your stand on the cholera epidemic that has hit our country. And because we are both women, I see no need to leave out any details and will be as graphic as I can possibly be.

Immediately my stomach learnt that it was 'overloaded' it started to rumble so loudly so as to exclude me from the other party goers so that it could deal with me properly. It then sent an angry memo to my knees which made them feel like they were made purely from Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. The Synovial fluid (my grandmother used to call it phinnochio juice) evaporated and then my stomach started to threaten to release the hormone and enzyme and other digestive juices treated 'overload' on to the lower parts of my body.

My brain had to work fast to look for a bathroom before the stomach fulfilled its threat. So on jelly like knees, I rushed to a bathroom, only to find women at the mirrors applying and reapplying make-up. The best help they gave me was what-the-hell-were-you-thinking dirty looks and you-deserve-it-glutton remarks. I couldn't stop to give them a piece of my mind coz I had to dash into a stall and so I blacked them out.

Thinking the nightmare had ended, I rose to leave but my stomach screamed 'Stop right there!' I remained holed up in that stall for the rest of the party period. My stomach continued to play this game on me on my way home. I boarded 5 mats because my 'captor' kept threatening me with more diarrhoea and I would stop the driver after paying full fare only for me to feel perfectly fine once the mat left. In retaliation, I have decided to fast until the New Year to teach my stomach a lesson it will not forget soon.

As I said earlier, I am not sure my experience is even half of what our fellow Kenyans who have survived the pandemic have gone through. But believe you me I would not wish this experience on you. I am not sure you understand what I am talking about, but please do get the reagents and doctors and other things that might help relieve the suffering of our people.

As I sign off Madam Minister, may I give you some advice. Next time you are talking about life saving reagents, rehearse before a mirror before dashing off to a press-con. You will at least learn to fake some concern for Kenyans.

Sincerely,

Gasheri.

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