They make the rules, lecture Kenyans to observe them but it is they who break them — with impunity.
This was well captured by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter who in January 2015 said, “We are the ones making laws. When we want, we break them.”
In the recent case, it is President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. And their sons have taken cue from them and have also been accused of breaking Covid-19 rules by going out partying.
While President Kenyatta scolded his on national TV, Kagwe says his is an adult; his business is not his responsibility. His son, Kahumburu Kagwe aka Kahush, was spotted in a video in a house party in Nairobi.
This is despite Kagwe himself speaking against this.
When he banned sale of alcohol in eat outs on July 31, the Health CS said, “ The fact that we have stopped alcohol from being taken in bars does not mean you turn your house into a karumaindo. We are aware there are people who want to cheat the system by turning their houses to shebeens”.
But when an NTV journalist asked him to comment on the video of his son partying, he arrogantly told her to find and ask him as “he does not have a son in his house who is under 18 years”.
He, however, thinks he still has the moral standing to lecture Kenyans during his Covid-19 updates, even after he has been photographed in a setting that pointed to a party with no social distancing and his mask in his hands. Literally preaching water but drinking wine.
In Kericho and Kisumu, as he has been doing in his county visits, he addressed crowds, which is against what he has been preaching. Notably, Kagwe had a gathering in Nyandarua, a county that had not recorded a single Covid-19 case.
President Kenyatta is leading from the front, setting the wrong precedent.
On Monday, he addressed crowds in some of Nairobi’s informal settlements after commissioning the construction of three level 3 hospitals in the city county. No social distancing was observed.
His communication team, the President’s Strategic Communications Unit, was not even embarrassed to share the photos of the President contravening his own directives accompaning it with a press release.
“Speaking to thousands of residents who turned out to welcome him, the President said the projects are part of a grand plan to transform the outlook of the city especially its informal settlements,” the PSCU release said.
This is the President who in his 10th address on Covid-19 status on July 27, he ordered the Inspector General of Police to enforce the law equally to all Kenyans.
“… the Inspector General of police shall ensure that his officers spare no mheshimiwa or individual, regardless of social status or rank, who is either out of curfew or who flaunts the health protocols without being an essential worker. The rules are for every all of us, and rank or status does not exempt you from them,” Uhuru ordered.
He was reacting to increased cases of leaders, including Cabinet secretaries and governors, contravening the rules at a time Covid-19 cases were skyrocketing.
For instance, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who is the Chairman Council of Governors, and co-chair of the inter-governmental committee on Covid-19, has been involved political meetings in Western region accompanied by Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa.
Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli, an ally of the President, has been hosting political meetings in his Kajiado home.
The President himself has also hosted meetings at State House as well as a Jubilee Parliamentary Group Meeting at the KICC.
His deputy, William Ruto, has been hosting different delegations from traders, clerics to tribal groupings at his Karen Office in Nairobi, as he prepares for his 2022 presidential bid.
On Tuesday, for instance, he hosted a delegation of community leaders from Kajiado South constituency led by MP Katoo Ole Metito and Senator Mary Seneta, at his Karen residence. No scial distancing other than at the “high-table” was observed, and most of the attendees didn’t have masks on.
Delegations to Karen have been his modus operandi.
Raila Odinga, too, has been seen attending political meetings, and was previously seen contravening the cessation of movement order as he went to attend a meeting in Kajiado.
There were murmurs that politicians are normalising gatherings so as to soon kick off Building Bridges Initiative campaigns. In any case, they will argue, Burundi, Malawi and now Tanzania conducted their elections.
At the end of the day, the government insists that the war on Covid-19 pandemic is your personal responsibility.