It must be hate

Kenya really does hate women and poor people! It’s enough to draw this very personal conclusion judging by the events in the month of September alone. When referring to Kenya in this context, I do not just mean our leaders, but the citizens too. Remember we voted them in? We let them get away with impunity? How else do you explain the anger and hate that is spewed upon these two categories of citizens – women and the poor?

Whilst the entire country has been brutally forced to observe the laws around curfew, social distancing and consumption of alcohol in public places, our leaders are holding political rallies with none of these restrictions being observed. The rallies are happening in peri-urban and rural areas, places where resources are already scarce and with the pandemic, there is a scramble for said resources. 

In my observation it appears only the political leaders and their aides are taking the personal protective measures like wearing masks. Members of their audience, on the other hand, are all not observing these rules. Yet you, the voting public, cannot host weddings or funerals without a limitation on the number of people in attendance and social distance must be observed at all times, failure to which may lead to arrests and or mandatory quarantine. Remember how the quarantine centres were being used to punish the public if found outside after curfew or being out without a mask? And in some cases it really was not your fault that you were being faulted for these crimes. The same government set up county barriers and kicked people out of their homes at the start of this pandemic, remember?

These our leaders were voted in by us, the voting public. We woke up early and filled up the polling stations and cast votes at the ballot boxes, placing in power leaders who truly are not working for the people. Leaders who only make the most noise when the amount of money going into their pockets is affected. What is it they say about empty debes and noise-making? Yet the same leadership is nowhere to be seen when a woman in labor is turned away from a public maternal health facility. A few of them showed up post-debacle to check on the mother’s welfare, giving her gifts in the hope that those gifts would take away some of the pain from the inhumane manner in which she was treated. I wonder if they are still that concerned over her welfare, two weeks later. 

What PR stunts would they be pulling now should the outcome of that injustice have led to the loss of life for her and her baby? Would they be hosting fund-raising initiatives and sending donations towards the funeral expenses? The sheer audacity! A certain medical institution apologized online for what had transpired. Both approaches by the leaders and the institutions were very reactionary. Why not fix the problem from the inside and stop these incidents repeating themselves?

A whole entire warehouse full of Personal Protective equipment (PPE’s) that are rotting? Expiring? Unusable? Due to unfavorable storage conditions. Yet, our medical staff are stretched to capacity! Peoplewise and equipment wise! Yet the stuff is sitting somewhere in a warehouse. We have medics dying from COVID after treating COVID patients. We have the local mwanainchi washing and reusing disposable masks. Others repurposing old clothing while boxes of it, donated to the Republic, remains unused in boxes. Increasing the risks of infection and the number of deaths due to the virus. Deaths which could have possibly been avoided by possibly just having access to PPE’s. But alas! Our leadership would rather have it rot or damaged in storage.

After a very loud outcry from the starving public, the powers that be have finally offered some kind of reprieve. Our newly granted extension on the curfew times and the liberty to drink in public spaces once again. Bearing in mind eateries, hotels and pubs were some of the businesses to be hit hard by the lockdown. Can you imagine the number of job losses just from the hospitality industry alone, starting with the proprietor, to the floor staff to the support teams right back to their suppliers? I can’t begin to imagine how hard survival must be in these dark days. There should have been a resolution made earlier on how to prevent small businesses crumbling and ways of supporting the workers during this time. How do the leadership presume people have been surviving the past 6 months? Must be nice to have money and not have to worry about small small things like food, rent, masks. Must be nice.

Let me take my vexed self out of this page before I say things that may put me behind bars.


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