Politicians can be an incorrigible lot in pursuit of their own interests, but the authorities must resist the temptation to get sucked into their games. The rivalry playing out between two groups in western Kenya is, not surprisingly, largely about the 2022 elections.
However, the national focus right now should be on how to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, the recent opening up of the country poses a grave danger, what with the rising infections.
One would, therefore, have expected the grassroots and national leaders to shelve their political games and ambitions for now. The government’s ban on political gatherings, as a means to enforce the social distancing, is routinely being flouted.
The blatant bias in the enforcement of the ban and the leaders’ pursuit of their political objectives while putting their people’s lives at grave risk is a big shame.
While a group led by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has been freely moving around, their rivals, who include allies of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Deputy President William Rut’s supporters, such as former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, have often been teargassed and their meetings broken up by police.
The coronavirus does not discriminate along political affiliation, ethnic group, race or status in society. It is a massive health crisis that calls for the concerted efforts of all.
The country and the whole world have never known such a grim invisible enemy that has literally brought every sector almost to a standstill.
The Health ministry has done quite well by keeping the country fully informed about this grim threat. The least that should be expected from the security authorities is a non-selective enforcement of the safety measures.
It makes a mockery of the rule of law to brutalise one group and let the rivals move around freely, flouting the Health ministry’s protocols and endangering lives.