Uhuru’s double standards on Covid-19 restrictions
This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the Covid-19 curfew by another 60 days although the hours were reduced to 11pm to 4am.
He announced a raft of other measures, but expressed uncertainty about when schools will reopen. Kenyans received the President’s announcement with disappointment, considering that politicians have been going about their business without much care of Covid-19 threats.
Why would they bother to wear masks at political rallies?
It would appear the government is restricting citizens, while politicians are let loose to do as they wish. Kenya is fast becoming a nation of double standards.
Not long ago, the country was flabbergasted by claims of the looting of Covid-19 funds reported by various media houses. As a matter of fact, the journalist who broke the story on Covid-19 millionaires is believed to be in hiding after receiving threats from the looters.
While these claims are fresh in Kenyans’ minds, they are again treated to disproportionate measures by the Executive — extending unnecessary Covid-19 regulations against the citizens while failing to investigate the political class believed to be responsible for the theft of Covid-19 funds meant to help the country.
Article 43 of Constitution guarantees every Kenyan the right to healthcare. This means we are all entitled to sound health, physically and psychologically. From the look of things, to the detriment of the people, leaders are at the forefront of undermining the health status of Kenyans.
While some politicians are physically exposing the people to Covid-19 through large gatherings – where they do not wear masks – others are psychologically torturing them with curfews and restrictions. A good example is the government restricting religious gathering but allowing political crowds.
On the other hand, schools remain closed but bars have been opened. This is a dangerous concoction as the same students who are out of school will now head to bars and chang’aa dens. The government has its priority mixed up when it restricts the right to education and leaves children vulnerable to alcohol abuse.
With the holiday mood and festivities fast approaching, this situation is a disaster in the making. Kenyans should brace for more teenage pregnancies, sexual and gender-based violence, paedophilia and alcohol abuse. Parents have been left on their own by the state.
While the people are exposed to the jaws of the shark, politicians who are said to have stolen Covid-19 funds have so far been left unscathed. We no longer hear of investigations or follow up on those responsible for the looting of public coffers. The investigators are quiet on the matter and politicians have not been vocal on the issue.
Despite the efforts of civil society organisations such as HAKI Africa and the Kenya Tuitakayo Movement going to the streets to demand accountability for spending of Covid-19 funds, the authorities, it would appear, have chosen to turn a blind eye on the issue.
[Auditor General Nancy Gathungu on Wednesday confirmed Sh2.3 billion was was lost in the procurements].
Kenyans should now open their eyes and start asking questions. It is wrong for them to have their lives restricted, whereas politicians’ operations are back to normal.
All Kenyans are the same before the law. The political class is no better than the common man. It is little wonder Kenyans celebrated Chief Justice Maraga’s advisory to the President to dissolve Parliament.
This showed Kenyans are tired of politicians’ shenanigans and would rather have a situation in which they didn’t have to deal with the lot. Mwananchi fully supports the idea of dissolving Parliament and sending politicians home.
The time has come for politicians to collectively rethink their usefulness. If they have failed to perform their basic duty to legislate (the two-thirds gender rule) but are busy threatening the health of Kenyans (hosting huge crowds), then they should agree that they have out-lived their usefulness.
While there are a few politicians who have done well, all things considered, the majority have failed Kenyans on matters Covid-19. The country is in dire need of proper direction from its leadership before it becomes a laughing stock to its neighbours and the international community.
The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly showed Kenyans the true colours of the their politicians. As the country approaches the 2022 election euphoria, the people must consider carefully the choices they make on the ballot.
By Hussein Khalid