NGUGI: Why some Kenyans wi*l regret treating Covid-19 restrictions as a Govt. joke

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 19 Apr, 2020 16:25 | 2 mins read
Some Kenyans are not taking Covid-19 containment measures seriously. PHOTO | FILE
Some Kenyans are not taking Covid-19 containment measures seriously. PHOTO | FILE

There is mounting evidence that Kenyans are not treating the coronavirus disease with the seriousness it deserves.

In fact, they seem to think that the government is playing a joke on them.

There is motorcade of revellers that drove into the tea plantations of Kiambu to go have a party in total disregard of social distancing rules.

Another party was held in Eastlands, Nairobi and in attendance was an MP. They got arrested and are now in quarantine.

You read about the creative youths who, to avoid being stopped by the police, rode an ambulance to a party.

A team of drivers were also caught using a backroad to access Thika town which is under partial lockdown and separated from adjacent counties. Fortunately, they are cooling their heels in a quarantine facility.

One still witnesses the hustle and bustle in all kinds of towns across the country.

I saw a video of a lone chief commanding people to close businesses and go home as the curfew hour was nigh.

Today, I read the following in today's Sunday Nation:

"While cautioning the public against defying the government's guidelines for preventing further local transmission of Covid-19, CS Kagwe said Homa Bay County had reported its first case.

He [Health CS Mutahi Kagwe] explained that the case was found after a group of people travelled from Nairobi County, with an empty coffin, in the guise of being on their way to a funeral.

The CS said that authorities in Homa Bay checked the coffin after suspecting the group was lying, and confirmed that it was using trickery to travel.

He also cited the case of Mandera County, saying Governor Ali Roba had confirmed that some individuals had bribed their way out of quarantine facilities.

Earlier, the ministry extended the confinement of individuals in five quarantine centres by another 14 days, noting some of them tested positive for the coronavirus while others breached laid down procedures."

Yet the police cannot aggressively enforce the law. Courts have said they should use reasonable force.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has apologized for police excesses while some president has ordered that people be shot for flouting public health regulations. Still this has not shielded the president from viscous attacks.

Kenyans are an interesting people. A proverb from one of their communities says: "They start running when dusk sets in."

Perhaps they are waiting for us to start dying in large numbers before they can start behaving.

But that will be too late.