The following are some of the commonest questions asked about Reuben Kigame running for president. As his Secretariat, we have examined the questions, done our research and come up with our considered responses. What is amazing is that, the more we examine Mr. Kigame, the more we discover golden information as to why he would make the best candidate for Kenya’s next president. Read and make up your mind:
A. Reuben has never been in government before.
That is true. He ran for Vihiga County’s gubernatorial seat in 2013, so he is not new to running for office. He finished fourth out of six candidates. In that election, people were literally bought, including on election day. Reuben and other county contacts have told of meeting crowds along the road to the polling stations who would tell him, “We are here waiting to be shown how to vote and who to vote for!” By this, they meant they wanted Reuben to give them money in order to vote for him. He agreed to lose and keep his integrity. Therefore, he came fourth, not because he was a bad candidate, but because he lost to bribery. Later, after the people of Vihiga noticed the deterioration of the county, corruption and poor services, some came to Mr. Kigame asking him to vie in 2017 but he thought it unwise. So, if we want a clean person for State House, who will run a clean, issue-based campaign, then Reuben is the best. As a meticulous and very well-read man, Reuben not only helped write the Constitution and Manifesto of the RBK party, but had carefully researched and prepared his strategic plans and development policies for Vihiga, which he has contributed in the running of the county. Dismissing Reuben would be more on the basis of stigmatization rather than incompetence. This he has got used to and continues to push through the odds, including this campaign.
Secondly, not being in government does not disqualify any citizen from vying for whatever seat. Our first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his friends who formed the first government of Kenya had never, ever been in government. That was a more difficult government being the very first, to form. Kigame can certainly make it as a new entrant.
Thirdly, those who have been in government are responsible for where we are today. That is why we are not convinced that they can fix the
problems of this country. For instance, the president, his deputy as well as former prime minister cannot convince us that they can give us a better country because they have presided over the rot that we are now in. All the scandals, including the Laptop project, Eurobond, SGR cost inflation, Aror and Kimwarer dam scandals, the Karen land saga, the KEMSA billionaires, the joblessness, poverty, careless borrowing, the insecurity, etc, have all happened with them in office. The least we expected was for them to do what they promised citizens. They have not. They have made our country what it is now. We need someone who has not been in government. Most of those offering themselves for presidency have been mentioned in several scandals. We cannot trust them with our resources. We better have Mr. Kigame to give us a new start.
B. Pastor Pius Muiru and other Christian candidates have flopped badly and so Reuben Kigame should “ask” them or learn from them.
First, Bishop Pius Muiru is quite different from Reuben Kigame. He is a televangelist of great renown. Mr. Kigame is totally different. People do not know Reuben Kigame or have conveniently chosen not to look at him beyond the music. Once you look beyond his music, which you cannot ignore, you will see several things that give him the most unique place to be Kenya’s next president.
He is one of Kenya’s best teachers with a keen mind and attentive heart. Kigame’s first degree was in education, majoring on History, Philosophy and Religious Studies. This has not only endeared him LAZARUS CHAKWERA as a teacher of thousands of students, but one of the sharpest minds from Kenya. His logical and critical thinking, which is evident in all his writings, debates, speeches and presentations
makes him a very good analyst. He has taught African History and World History, Church History Comparative Religion, Apologetics, etc, something Pastor Muiru has not. His Master of Science Degree is in Journalism and Media Studies hence he does not just use media, something he has done for more than twenty years, PRESIDENT ANDRY RAJOELINA but he has even started and managed a radio station. As someone in media, he is well-versed with both media trends and current affairs, having written his first news bulletin at the age of ten. He
is world-travelled, something he did from when he was twenty-two, and so he has a good comparative view of the world. He has written books, done peer review, participated in constitutional talks including the Linda Katiba Movement and given many opinions in the media on
the state and direction of our nation. In PRESIDENT GEORGE other words, Kigame is not Muiru. WEAH
Secondly, it is not so much Muiru who failed but Kenyans who ignored his candidature. His failure in 2007 came at a time of very different political circumstances. Kenya was not ready for alternative voices and government then. Now it is. We need an outsider badly; someone who fears God, loves people and is also well-versed with national issues. Thirdly, Muiru is not the only yardstick. Why not measure Mr. Kigame against an African leader like President Lazarus Chaakwera of Malawi who is a minister with the Assemblies of God in Malawi? Or why not measure him against President Andry Nirina Rajoelina of Madagascar who is a DJ? Why not measure Reuben against President George Weah of Liberia who is a footballer? Which experience did George Weah have except his patriotic commitment to serve the people of Liberia? Chakwera got into power when Malawi was in a similar mess as Kenya and so the people of Malawi were ready for someone from outside government whom they could trust. He is doing so well. Kenya is ready for someone like that and we find Mr. Kigame to be the most suited.
Last but not least, you cannot dismiss anyone from running as long as they can make it to the ballot. It is a democratic right for any Kenyan to stand and so, judging someone by the failures of another is not wise.
C. Politics is a dirty game. Christians should avoid it.
This is one of the saddest statements to be heard especially from Christians. The fact that the world of politics is too dirty does not exempt it from being a place God is committed to cleaning. Jesus came into the filth of the world. Christians are called to reach the whole world, including the political arena. It is part of the mission field. To stop Christians from running for office in order to challenge the rot in politics is to curtail outreach. Proverbs 29:2 says that when the righteous are in office, people rejoice. When the wicked rule, people mourn.
Secondly, we pray regularly in keshas, fellowships and other meetings that God raises righteous leaders. When Christians like Reuben stand up to be counted, we forget that we prayed for people like him. We are usually the first ones to discredit and discourage them. This is unfair to the Kingdom agenda and discouraging to many more who wish to step into politics. We must choose between remaining with the bad leaders or replacing them with bold, Christian leaders like Reuben. What is harder? To pray for them, support them, vote for them and give them a chance, or to keep praying for God to raise them?
Thirdly, politics is often dirty because it has dirty people, not because new entrants join. We need to remove the dirty people and replace them with the clean ones. Politics is about how people make decisions, address the needs of people or advise government on policies. How wonderful if we Speaking to Students of Moi Girls High School, Eldoret. had godly people to do this for the people!
Fourthly, the more we talk without voting, the more we fail to get the candidates in office. Muiru and the other Christians, including Mr. Kigame in 2013’s elections in Vihiga, failed to clinch the seats they vied for because many chose not to vote, or voted for the wrong candidates and then began to complain and pray for God’s intervention. If truly Kenya is 83% Christian, we should find it very easy to put in whichever candidate we want. The truth is different. Let’s remember we are responsible for who we put in government. We get what we deserve. It is ok not to choose people like Kigame, but then let us not complain when the ones we leave him for, end up messing up the country.
D. But Mr. Kigame has not done anything worth choosing him!
Those who think this way do so because they have not interacted with Reuben to know that he is not the kind of person who will rush to the media to announce the charity projects or acts he is involved in. He is guided by Matthew 6 which urges us not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing. Those of us who know him can share several things Kigame has done for individuals and groups in the society. They are so many to list here, but allow us to just cite the following:
1. Paying school fees for needy students around the country including some who live with disability and monitoring their progress through
school as a teacher.
2. Raising support for and visiting with orphans and widows in the Western region of Kenya including places like Turkana, Pokot, Baringo and Vihiga. This includes mobilizing for clothes, shoes, foodstuffs such as maize and beans, sugar and cooking oil. This he has done under his station, Fish FM, individually or with church groups around the country. Reuben has also been making surprise visits to the elderly where he goes to spend time with them, hear them, sing and pray with them as well as take them foodstuffs or other necessary items.
3. Soliciting sanitary towels for girls in schools directly or through his friends.
4. Promoting soccer especially in Uasin-Gishu County by purchasing sports gear for young teams. He even established a football team
called Fish United which did very well in several national tournaments, and also supported GFC 105 after their sponsor founder Bishop Ben
5. Conducted anti-jigger campaigns in Vihiga County Reuben supporting the late veteran Shem Tube with the help of medical doctors and students.
6. Mentored and produced many young upcoming musicians including funding their audio and video production. Just to name a few, there is Zain Iron, Joylin, Paul Manana, Yogi, Fena Gitu, Esther Moraa, Wario,Hamisi Kapera, etc, not to forget assisting or working with veteran musicians like the Kassangas, Mary and Alex Ominde, Douglas Jiveti, Mary Nyoike, Rose Jefa, Modest Morgan, Gloria Muliro, Mercy Masika, Jemima Thiong’o, Patrick Oyaro, Princess Farida, Porqpine, Angie Ngesa, Barnabbas Otieno, Mtawalis, Julia Matende, etc. Kigame has also been instrumental in supporting elderly musicians and bringing them back to the studio to record or organize meetings for them to perform in. This includes the late Shem Tube and veteran musician Sukuma bin Ongaro whom he has mentored. He has also promoted local music of all genres and organized special concerts around the country and outside as well as cultural events such as the Luhya Night and Kalenjin Night, etc.
7. Mr. Kigame has trained hundreds of students at his music academy in Eldoret and Nairobi and promoted the learning of different instruments in Kenya including piano, guitar, drums, violin, saxophone, as well as the use of traditional African instruments in Church music e.g. the Ishiriri, Nyatiti and Obokano. What is exciting about his programme is that he trains children as young as five years through holiday music camps and admits different citizens including bodaboda and matatu workers. He has contributed to the teaching of music in schools in Uasin-Gishu and started music clubs to promote both classical and contemporary music.
8. Kigame was so instrumental in uniting communities that had been torn by ethnic violence in 2007/8. Not only did he use radio to bring
healing to the North Rift but used radio to raise support for those in IDP camps including food, clothes and blankets. He worked with the Nairobi-based churches through the Msafara Wheels of Hope to counsel and offer material support to those affected by the violence. He regularly organized youth reconciliation meetings between the various ethnic groups in Uasin-Gishu County and even organized music concerts and prayer meetings together with the late Bishop Ben Bahati especially at IDP camps to bring comfort and encouragement to the affected. He worked with Kenya Red Cross to solicit for material support and distribute them to various camps in the region. He took time himself to regularly go to St. John’s Cathedral to talk to the affected.
9. Reuben Kigame has worked in several media houses including Radio Citizen, Sayare Radio, Family Radio, Biblia Husema Broadcasting, Hope FM and his own station called Fish FM which he ran from 2006 to 2016. He has personally trained numerous radio journalists including news anchors, presenters, technicians and DJs, many of who now serve at different media houses. Just to name a few: Joseph Njane and Pamela Afandi of Royal Media Services, Grace Kirwaye, Karis, Jackton Omusi, Rhoda Kedaha and her husband Jackson Kedaha, Patroba Ojwang of Hope FM, Gathoni and the late John Mutunga of Standard Media, Melchizedek Mbwanga of Sayare Radio and TV, Mercy Onjure of MBCI, Anders Ihachi formerly of Citizen TV and K24, just to name a few.
10. He has helped many to publish their books by editing and preparing them for professional printing under his publishing firm called Posterity Publishers Ltd. These include books like “The Life and Times of Senator Nathaniel Kalya,” “Touch My Scars,” “Before Two Become One: Navigating Premarital Challenges to Marriage in Africa,” “History of the Quaker Church,” “Christian Apologetics Through African Eyes,” etc.
11. He has taught many high school students at Madira Secondary School in Vihiga and Maryhill Girls High School, Kiambu, besides traveling every term to speak to thousands of students on academic Speaking to students of Lugulu Girls High School success, careers and life skills as well as providing spiritual support through preaching, prayer and music. He also conducts open forums and counsels with numerous college students in Kenya and beyond and is a regular speaker/mentor in many churches. He also teaches several Masters classes at Africa International University.
12. He has run a coffee house in Eldoret, a music shop and a cake house in Nairobi, music production studios in both Nairobi and Eldoret, thus providing employment for hundreds of people, besides training and working with numerous people in Word Of Truth Ministries, Kigame Media and Fish Media, most of which he has shut down to concentrate on studies, social activism and mentorship.
13. Kigame has more recently been involved with the Linda Katiba movement which has defended Kenya’s Constitution against mutilation. He has been involved in constitutional discussions right from inception and travelled conducting civic education in communities including persons living with disability.
14. Kigame has fought for the rights of persons living with disability directly by engaging service providers and institutions on inclusion. His advocacy led to the building of a ramp for the physically challenged at Barngetuny Plaza in Eldoret, the allocation of special parking slots for persons living with disability in Eldoret as well as the opening up of banking entrances in the town which were always blocked by parked vehicles. He has lobbied for clear marking of zebra crossings as well as vehicles slowing down at the same especially in Eldoret.
15. Kigame has always had a heart for street children. He has regularly spoken to them including counseling them against drug use, the need to return to their families, giving them food and clothing, and even lived with some of them at his house. He has organized for some to go back to school and even involved them in some of his music including music videos on his YouTube channel. This concern dates back to the early 1990s when he would go to the streets of Thika Town to spend weekends with them, talking to them about Christ and life choices.
16. Kigame has been involved in prison ministry through his music, teaching and preaching, both in Kenya and in Germany. Inmates have always resonated with his testimony and counsel. It has been wonderful to see inmates turn out to sing his songs. He has done this with Sifa Voices, the Crossroads Fellowship from Germany and the Diguna Mission.
17. Reuben has worked with children across the country, mentoring them in music and life skills. He has involved them in his music projects or spent hours with them coaching them on how to make it in school. As early as 1993, Reuben began to train children at the Kenyatta University Kindergarten. He has done this in Vihiga and more recently at the Likoni JCC Church in Mombasa. In other words, he has a big heart for children.
18. Reuben runs what he calls “Boys to Men” programme at his home in Eldoret. This involves living with several graduates or job-seeking youth and helping them develop their careers or life skills including preparing for marriage, college, work, investment, decision-making, grooming, learning how to better read and write, etc.
To deny someone like Reuben the opportunity to lead Kenya would not be because he is not able, but because of bias and stigmatization. He is a go-getter, black and white thinker, firm with wrong but very gentle with the truth and justice.
E. How can a blind man lead a country?
There are many stereotypes in the world, e.g. that women or persons living with disability cannot lead. We have news for you. Time and opportunities have proved this kind of thinking narrow and in bad taste. The current leaders of Ethiopia and Tanzania, just to name two, are women. Some of the best software developers are blind. Reuben can and will be our next president.
Again, we need to answer the question, how has Reuben, being blind, taught hundreds of sighted students in high school and at the university? How did he dream, set up, manage and participate in broadcasting at his radio staion, Fish FM, or work at regular stations like Radio Citizen, Family Radio and Hope FM? How did he set up and run a restaurant? How has he set up and run a music school, studio, magazine, publishing house, music band, apologetics centre, etc? In other words, what is it that a determined and committed Reuben cannot really do with our support? In fact, it needs to be On a speaking mission at known that Reuben has achieved all RCCG in Kigali, Rwanda this with constant opposition, barriers and financial constraints. What if we gave him our support? How much can this driven man achieve for us? For someone to defy all odds and go to school all the way to PHD level, it is not a joke. All he needs is an opportunity to serve. Let’s elect him in 2022 and see the Kenya we always wanted. As he jokes in some of the conversations, he really has nothing too attractive to distract him. He chuckles, “I have nothing of someone’s shamba, wife, house or money to admire with blind eyes! Allow me to lead you. It will be good for the economy foremost!” Let’s give him a chance.
F. But can Reuben Kigame really fight corruption?
This ibvnyone who can deal with corruption and impunity in this country, then it is Reuben. First, he comes with clean hands, not having stolen anything from anybody and being a person of strict Christian principles. Again, all the other candidates on offer have issues to answer with regard to graft and some of them have led us to where we are. They are the reason our country has sunk this low. Reuben has been writing regularly against graft and is the only one we can entrust to deal with cartels in most of the sectors. Kenya would be glad to give him a chance. Besides, he has some great economic advisers by his side. He can fix the economy with passion and commitment. Being a thinker, he can make sound judgements for our country. Let’s give him a chance.