Let leaders play their part to stop pandemic spread

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe (right) with acting Director Ministry of Health Patrick Amoth during a press briefing on Covid-19 at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Denis Mbau       

As the government works around the clock to contain the coronavirus pandemic, there are some Kenyans who have been undermining the very efforts.

There have been cases of people arrested for locking themselves in bars or holding house parties, against government measures banning public gatherings.

Unfortunately, some leaders have been caught up in this worrying trend. While it is not advisable for ordinary Kenyans to breach State protocols to combat Covid-19, it is even worse when leaders do so, as they are supposed to set an example to their constituents on how to behave.

This past weekend, an MCA was among 17 people arrested in a bar drinking. His supporters and indeed all Kenyans watched in dismay as he was shoved into an awaiting police Land Cruiser.

This is a man who should have been sensitising people in his ward on how to observe social distancing, but instead led them into breaching the very measures. 

In a similar case nearly two weeks ago, Embakasi Central MP was  among 34 people arrested for disregarding social distancing directive. He was arrested at an entertainment joint along the Eastern Bypass.

And recently Kilifi Deputy Governor was making news for  refusing to self-quarantine after arrival from abroad.

He went on to attend events only to be tested positive for the virus latter, putting many people at risk. 

 Just how low can our politicians go? This is a question that lingers in the minds Kenyans as their leaders outwit each other in a classic show of arrogance if not sheer ignorance.

Though inconveniencing, most Kenyans are trying to stay at home as directed by government, scratching their heads as to how to put at least one meal on the table for their families. 

Others are wondering how to even pay rent as the jobless wail in hunger and abject poverty. It is a hard time Kenyans with a silent wave of hopelessness and desolation sweeps across the nation. 

Yet, most sacrifice and obey government measures to help combat the virus, which has raved the entire world. 

Therefore, to see leaders making merry in a crisis is a slap on the face for residents and to the national government as it tries to do all it can to curb the spread of the disease. 

 Over the past, we have seen the government take stern action against those who violate guidelines.

It is with the same dexterity that Kenyans would like the government act on leaders trying to prove they are above the  law. 

 What are these leaders showing the youth who have been criticised for doing nothing to help curb the virus?

Our leaders do not understand that with great power also comes great responsibility.

Truth be told, many politicians are drunk with power and are very delusional, living in a bubble of their own comfortable ignorance.

No wonder we are still grappling with the same problems we had at independence, over 50 years later.

 Until this bubble bursts, Kenyans will continue to suffer from a vicious cycle of poor leadership that forever clogs the gears of development.

It ensures more and more Kenyans remain jobless, cost of living goes high, people die from curable diseases and poverty rates plummet.

 Yet, it must not be a blanket condemnation on all leaders. Some are doing remarkably well, creating awareness on the virus and engaging the youth as agents of awareness creation. 

Some, like Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, have been distributing face masks, sanitisers and food. This is laudable.  Let the leaders be in the frontline to combat this virus.  -—The writer is a Communications Consultant

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