A 46-worded Friday tweet by Film Board boss Dr Ezekiel Mutua aimed at persuading Kenyans to change their attitude towards elected leaders has attracted hostile reception, seemingly highlighting the lack of confidence the citizens have in most of their elected leaders.
“No country has ever progressed by hating its leaders. If you don’t like them, change them. But once you elect someone into office, for heaven’s sake, support them, pray for them and do your part as a citizen to contribute to the development of your country,” tweeted Dr Mutua at 7:31am on Friday, April 17.
A simple and straight-forward message with a clear intention of sparking bevaviour change was met with hostility, drawing hundreds of comments in a span of a few hours. Kenyans feel they are on their own, especially during crisis times when leaders need to stand up and be counted.
Twitter user John Roy Mwaniki (@JohnRoyMwaniki) said: “Why should we support and pray for leaders who show no love for their people? Why don’t our politicians reciprocate when we elect them into office by doing the right things? Instead, they immediately start stealing from us. Bure Kabisa!”
Pini_Man (@RNgeno4real) said: “We can’t pray for people making stupid decisions… This is not the 19th century … We, as citizens, pay a lot of taxes… I am an overtaxed citizen who needs accountability not [being asked to] pray for the leaders… Someone steals [my taxes], and you ask me to pray for them? That is hogwash.”
Another Twitter user Om’heri Robbyn (@Omweri_Robin) said: “No country has progressed either by having leaders who are thieves, looters, corrupt etc. Taking advantage of a corrupt judicial system to clear individuals who don’t meet [requirements of] Chapter 6 of the Constitution should not be blamed on citizens! Does voter bribery ring a bell?”
Kiarie Ac (@KiarieAc) said: “@EzekielMutua, we got tired of respecting some of them… Leaders who steal from the starving and sick in the name of enriching themselves?”
Wahwai (@WahwaiP) said: “Politicians elected into offices earn respect… They don’t demand to be respected. You can’t support a known warlord and a corrupt crook.”
Nick Snr (@NickMungai3) said: “Don’t call it hatred… Actually, we are wise… Wise people hate bad governance. We do no hate them (elected leaders), we hate their actions the [same] way we hate sin.”
Demas Kiprono (@kipdemas) said: “He (Mutua) wants you to respect and love leaders responsible for NYS 1 and 2, Mafya House, maize and fertilizer scandals, Solai dam [tragedy], neglect of healthcare system, killing of Kenyans in 2017 and during curfew, destruction of water towers, mercury in sugar and aflatoxins [in maize flour]. Pray for them for they know not!”
Isaac E. N. Okero (@Wuodabiero) said: “Support has to include holding them accountable. And calling them out loudly when they’re not doing right.”
Excel for life (@ElvisKwakuAtta) said “@EzekielMutua, what if you voted them into office and they’ve become enemy of the very principles and values that brought them into office? Any prayer from thence, is a wasted one. The prayer now should be focused on getting them out.”
Deon giddy (@_gmutua) said: “@EzekielMutua, the persons we see several months after elections are not the ones we elected. They completely transform to greedy monsters… How do you even start praying for such?”
The Kenyans’ comments on Mutua’s Twitter post come days after the electorate asked about MPs’ role and commitment in averting the spread of COVID-19, which has left at least 234 Kenyans infected thus far.
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