MASHUJAA DAY

Our heroes and heroines wish to see a healthy, stable, peaceful nation

A healthy nation is a wealthy nation and the sole responsibility begins with oneself.

In Summary

• A majority of the Kenyans especially the youths have resumed normalcy with little or no adherence to the Covid-19 containment measures.

• Gap challenges in mass testing and contact tracing remain a grey area of concern.

A group of women dancers during the 2019 Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa in 2019.
A group of women dancers during the 2019 Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa in 2019.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Mashujaa Day also known as Heroes' Day, is a public holiday to honour all Kenyans who have contributed towards the struggle for Kenya's independence as well as recognise all those that have brought fame and glory to our nation.

This year’s Mashujaa day anniversary is unique, coming at a time when the country is grappling with the ravages of Covid-19 pandemic and heightened political temperatures which seem to balkanize the nation along with ethnicity.

As we mark and reflect on this important day, it is imperative to note a healthy nation is a wealthy nation and the sole responsibility begins with oneself.

We are three weeks old since His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta allowed the phased re-opening of the economy.

We seem to have forgotten first that the coronavirus pandemic is with us.

A majority of the Kenyans especially the youths have resumed normalcy with little or no adherence to the Covid-19 containment measures.

The latest Covid-19 statistics are worrying, the country’s caseloads and fatalities are surging up with Health CS Mutahi Kagwe citing a red flag on coronavirus and probable need to reintroduce stiffer measures to curb the virus spread.

The World Health Organization, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC) and Amref Health Africa Group have equally issued a warning over “substantial rise in infections and deaths” as a result of the virus.

This is the harsh reality, the disease is here with us and has deeply penetrated in our counties and communities.

Already a few countries including the US have reported a second wave of the pandemic outbreak, exerting pressure on existing medical facilities and medical personnel to handle patients.

Gap challenges in mass testing and contact tracing remain a grey area of concern.

Largely the recent surges in the number of infections are being attributed to negligence and non-adherence to the covid-19 containment measures as witnessed in the recent past, where politicians have been traversing the country, holding public gatherings and meetings that attract huge crowds.

Of concern too are the utterances from our leaders during these gatherings, hate-speech, incitement and divisive politics are taking the center stage.

This is unfortunate and likely to polarize the nation along religious and tribal lines and ignite violence. This is not what our forefathers wanted.

The heroes and heroines struggled to see a united and cohesive nation devoid of sickness, ignorance and poverty.

As we celebrate Mashujaa day, let us remain cautious of the coronavirus, be tolerant and accommodative of each and shun divisive politics.

Dennis Wendo is the Founder- Integrated Development Network

Email: [email protected]