Close

EDITORIAL

State uncouth and callous to downplay starvation

In Summary

• The government has been uncouth and callous in downplaying the suffering of starving Kenyans and rubbished claims of death from the devastating drought.

• It’s absurd to expect us to believe pot-bellied bureaucrats in posh Nairobi offices when the suffering is horrifying for all to see.

Poor rains, livestock disease, a locust invasion are among the factors blamed for the starvation.
Poor rains, livestock disease, a locust invasion are among the factors blamed for the starvation.
Image: BBC

Celebrated novelist Chinua Achebe  once remarked, “If an alligator comes out of the water one morning and tells you that a crocodile is sick, can you doubt his story?” The Kenyan government led by Deputy President William Ruto certainly would.

The government has been uncouth and callous in downplaying the suffering of starving Kenyans and rubbished claims of death from the devastating drought. This denial flies in the face of locals, including some provincial administrators, who publicly confirm people are dying. West Pokot Governor John Lonyagapuo himself confirmed two people died in his county.

But even worse are threats to chiefs who raised the alarm. Ruto recklessly described the death reports as fake news. He revealed that some chiefs had been taken in for questioning.

It’s absurd to expect us to believe pot-bellied bureaucrats in posh Nairobi offices when the suffering is horrifying for all to see.

Local administrators should be commended, not bullied. The government should drop these strong-arm, dictatorial tactics. In any case, the Constitution that Ruto and company swore to protect and defend guarantees freedom of information.

The government should use its machinery to distribute food to the starving. Empty rhetoric does not make sense to a dying soul!

Quote of the Day: “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”

Thomas Jefferson

He became the first US Secretary of State under President Washington on March 22, 1790.