Let clerics give us directions on Covid rules and 2022 poll
By Barrack Muluka
| July 31st 2021
The fourth wave of Covid-19 is in the offing, according to the Ministry of Health. Expect more restrictions with the new spike. Expect also that the restrictions will be ignored.
Kenya needs to get serious about this Covid-19 thing. The country is yet to understand meaning of this deadly pandemic. Those who give the protocols don’t just break them. They defy them.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, their ‘brother’ Raila Odinga, and the retinue political class all stand accused.
The president carries unprotected crowds in one direction on a tour about the city to berate his deputy. The deputy president pulls another crowd in another direction, to criticise the boss.
The former prime minister has his own unprotected crowds, spangled across villages in the Lake Basin, where they are burying people who have recently died of the virus.
Not to be outdone, other opposition chiefs prance through one county to the next, pulling unprotected curious crowds along, in early election campaigns.
It surprises me not, that every so often the story breaks about some governor down with Covid. An MP dies here, while another is being buried there.
Elsewhere, an MCA is in coma, while another one is experiencing final stages of dying. The drama of defiance goes on, regardless. A governor arrives at a Covid-19 protocol-bursting event to announce that some other governor is down with the virus. He asks the gathering to pray for her.
Such is the substance of absurdity. From common folk to the top brass, we are not serious. Marketplaces in Kamukuywa, Luanda and Ahero, all the way to Karatina, are abuzz. Throngs of carefree characters, gambol about buoyantly without a care in the world about the corona thing.
The more vigilant spot a dirty old mask around the chin. It looks like some dirty talisman against the police. They shake hands, cough, laugh and hug. Bars are awash with happy-go-lucky patrons, drowning their sadness and joys in unbridled worldliness. Places of worship seem to be the only ones still observing the Covid protocols. Is it possible that the new coronavirus spreads only in holy shrines?
Everyone is free to go on with their normal business everywhere, except in the houses of worship. Should the faiths based community continue to wait for this government to give direction on Covid-19?
To the best of my thinking, the faiths based community should now announce when normal worship will resume. It is unconscionable to leave social conduct in the hands of a rogue secular class.
In keeping with its traditional good form, the religious community has patiently done its bit. It needs to scale this up by taking over where the political class has failed.
There is need for the National Christian Council of Kenya (NCCK) to announce when the Protestant community will resume regular worship, and the attendant protocols. The Catholic Bishops should do the same, and the Evangelicals too.
So, too, should the Supreme Council of Muslims, the Hindu Council, and all other religious groups. They understand, of course, that regulations and protocols count only when everyone observes them. When some classes think they are special, then it is time for the rest to act.
Protestantism, especially, is about non-conformism. Kenya being a hugely Christian nation, the Church must recognise its prophetic and apostolic mission as a protest movement.
We live today in a country whose secular leadership has abdicated its duty. It has divided the country into dangerous tribal enclaves in which the common coin is wild talk about “our community.” The Church must now not just tell the faithful about worship, it must also give Kenyans clear direction into the future, beginning with next year’s general election.
The writer is a strategic communications advisor. www.barrackmuluka.co.ke
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