Uhuru might have to reimpose lockdown

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the Nation on the new Presidential guidelines on Covid_19 pandemic at Harambee House in Nairobi on July 06, 2020. [PSCU, Standard]

The rate of coronavirus infections is scaling up on daily basis with over 40 counties registering a positive case. The trend is worrying even though a majority of Kenyans do not feel scared of the pandemic as at now compared to the months of March and April.

Amid the presidential directive to reopen the economy for the interest of Kenyans, it is turning out that a section of politicians has taken advantage and now in total violation of the government directives and guidelines on Covid-19 containment and infection prevention measures.

For the last few days, Western Kenya has been a hot-bed of political rallies with different political factions on the pretext of searching for the elusive Luhya unity, traversing the region and holding political gatherings in Trans Nzoia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia.

We have witnessed grand town entries and massive gatherings with absolutely no adherence to social and physical distancing, masking and sanitisation. We have witnessed crowds mingling, hugging, shaking hands and recklessly clinging on motorcades without any care or concern.

The presidential directives on Covid-19 guidelines barred political gatherings. The current actions we are witnessing is a clear indication that the politicians are disrespecting the rule of law or the laws are being applied selectively even as churches and the transport sector grapple to comply with operational protocols.

Our very own politicians are well aware that the majority of the elderly persons reside in the rural areas and remain highly vulnerable to the virus. The political gatherings witnessed in Western Kenya have been driven by governors, yet they have not met the set directives of ensuring their respective counties have put in place structures and capacity to handle Covid-19 emergencies.

This trend and actions of politicians must be put on check to avoid the spread of the virus and a replica of political gatherings in other counties and subsequently in the entire nation, now that the BBI talks are set to gain momentum.  

Dennis Wendo, founder/CEO, Integrated Development Network.