On Covid safety, leaders should set the example

What you need to know:

  • The President and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe have consistently directed the citizens to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols.
  • Even now, there is a caveat on the numbers attending religious and social functions.

Events of the past few days have left no doubt that the political leaders hardly mean what they say. President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga have begun high-voltage campaigns and attracting huge crowds in the midst of coronavirus pandemic.

The crowds attend the rallies without face masks and, certainly, no social distancing.

The President and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe have consistently directed the citizens to adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols. Until recently, all public gatherings were outlawed. Funerals were limited to 15 people.

Even now, there is a caveat on the numbers attending religious and social functions. Which is why we are confounded that political leaders, who should be setting the example, are at the front-line of breaking the rules. What should citizens make of this?

Containment measures

The Covid-19 containment measures are still in force. In light of that, citizens have to live under a curfew that limits their daily activities. Bars and restaurants are closed, with losses to proprietors and workers who have gone without incomes.

Educational institutions cannot reopen because of the challenge of keeping social distance. The anguish wrought on learners, teachers and parents is inestimable.

When, therefore, leaders who should do better, are the ones on the roll breaking the rules, the citizens have no option but to demand that all the control measures be lifted.

Leading by example is about accountability and responsibility. We cannot have different sets of rules, some for the rulers and others for the ruled, and purport to be under one Constitution.

The political leadership must be accountable; if they have resolved to breach the rules then let them lift restrictions for everyone.