Stupid. That is an adjective many newspaper editors will not allow in copy, more so when used in reference to a person even when the individual is a Kenyan politician.
However, since the use of indescribable is not encouraged because every well-meaning writer should have ability to describe any situation, stupid is fine, especially in reference to antics of Kenyan politicians, the situations they put Kenyans in or cause to happen and then revel in.
Of course our politicians are known for pulling stupid stunts, but in recent history, none has been as stupid as planning to dance, on the graves of Kenyans who have died, directly or indirectly, from Covid-19 and on the backs of those who have lost their livelihoods because of the pandemic.
And it has come to pass, that Kenya’s elected representatives are planning to dance, and film it for posterity, not just because the world is caught up in the craze of a particular song, but because they want to “showcase work done by Parliament and stand with those affected by the Covid-19 effects.”
Surely, if Parliament had done any work, Kenyans would have recognised it and there would be no point of legislators taking a break, paid for by Kenyans by the way, to rehearse dance moves, record themselves during the rehearsals and after, and have it broadcast so Kenyans can see how hard Parliament has been working.
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It is outright immoral, and of course stupid, to dance on the graves of Covid-19 victims and call it “standing with those who have been affected by effects of the pandemic.” How can you stand with people suffering by celebrating your failures? How can any well-meaning public official spend public funds on such moves, literally, when the people whose interests they are supposed to advance and protect, are suffering?
No, Kenyans. This kind of stupidity has to stop. It has to be stopped. This is an abusive relationship and it has to end because the legislators are not only insulting sensibilities of a suffering people, but taking away what is left of their dignity, their humanity and charging them for it.
This twisted logic of dancing when people are suffering is fuelled by their love for funerals. Whenever they increase their pay and allowances, their excuse is that they always contribute for funerals in their respective areas. They gleefully and shamelessly announce so, without thinking that some of those deaths are avoidable if the healthcare system was working — and if they allocated more money to public services than to themselves so they can cater for funerals.
Funerals give them a chance to dance on the graves of victims of lopsided policies because they (politicians) have failed to pass meaningful legislation that empowers and puts more money in the pockets of Kenyans or which ensures that thieves of public funds are punished heavily. This they fail to do not just because they eat with the thieves, but because they are the thieves.
Kenyans are mourning — the deaths of their loved ones, their livelihoods, their sources of income, and here is a bunch of public officials who want to do a celebratory jig to showcase their non-existent achievements.
Showcasing political achievements — and here there are none — is not even the purpose of the dance challenge. It is only in Kenya where this viral craze is being used for self-promotion otherwise in other parts, it is just happy people showing how well they can synchronise their moves.
Our politicians are known for pulling stupid stunts and for a moment we were fooled that they had stopped because there are many young people in elective positions.
Unfortunately, the youthful legislators, those who promise that their peers will prosper because of their presence in the House, are the worst. Their ideas are archaic and they are the most corrupt kleptomaniacs in Kenya’s history of stealing public resources.
Kenyans, this stunt is not only a waste of public resources when times are lean, but an insult and it has to be stopped otherwise these people will start mugging us on the streets or breaking in to our houses.
This is a call to action. The outrage expressed online has to have an effect. Mainstream media can do their bit by giving the dance video a blackout, and any references to it should be only when Kenyans are being told how much of their money was wasted in making it.
If politicians post the video on their social media handles, Kenyans should see to it that it is pulled down by reporting the handles and giving all manner of reasons including that it was made using public, nay, stolen funds and its message is spreading hatred, animosity, threatening lives of Kenyans and violating their rights.
People, if this latest move cannot churn our empty stomachs and make us act, then we will be proving to these politicians that we are silly and deserve their stupid antics.
-The writer is an editor at The Standard. @mqhlay