STOP THE IGNORANCE

Kenyans must stop downplaying threat posed by Covid-19

In recent days, many Kenyans have been tested in various labs across the country

In Summary

• My attention has been drawn to the views of those arguing that Covid-19 doesn’t exist and even dismiss the efforts by the government  to contain its spread as mere propaganda.

• To me, these claims are in bad faith and not hold any water.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a press briefing at State house
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a press briefing at State house
Image: PSCU

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage and destroy the economies of the world, I have been listening to the varied reactions from Kenyans towards this disease.

My attention would be drawn to the views of those arguing that Covid-19 doesn’t exist and even dismiss the efforts by the government  to contain its spread as mere propaganda. They further allege that Jubilee is taking advantage of what they call ‘exaggerated crisis’ to rake in billions of shillings from foreign donors.

In trying to justify these claims, these propagandists pose a number of questions. One, where are the numbers of those tested within 24 hours coming from? How come we have not buried a person in our neighborhood who has succumbed to Covid-19? Why keep the members of the public in darkness?

To me, these claims are in bad faith and not hold any water. I do not, however, blame this small group of Kenyans who have fallen prey to the tricks of some politicians.

We know that a few days after the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya, some misguided politicians started churning out false and misleading information. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe were the main target of this propaganda.

Of course, one would understand why they would once again pick a fight with Uhuru. He had refused to assign their political kingpin any role to play in combating Covid-19. In my view, the President was right to opt to work with members of his Cabinet as a team.

In recent days, many Kenyans have been tested in various labs across the country.

 I remember the President speaking with two young Kenyans who had just recovered via video teleconference. Contracting coronavirus is not a death sentence as many Kenyans had been made to believe.

The government, however, stopped this due to the stigmatisation that followed. Several cases were reported across the country.

Covid-19 has destroyed our economy and, indeed, is a big blow to President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda. This disease is giving him and many other business leaders sleepless nights. Therefore, one would expect his critics to give him a break. Covid-19 is also ravaging the whole world. So, those saying it does not exist should bear this in mind — Covid-19 is real, it had hit other countries and Kenya is not an exception.

Ndonga is a political analyst and blogger

Nairobi