Linus Kaikai’s kicker on coronavirus and the political silence around the country


Linus Kaikai's kicker on coronavirus and the political silence around the country
FILE PHOTO | A view of Parliament building in Nairobi

Tragedy or calamity brings out the best in Kenyans.

This week, coronavirus finally struck our land and is currently busy testing every nut and bolt of that structure that makes Kenya a modern state.

I think the Government has not disappointed.

From the moment President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the first case of the raging virus on the steps of Harambee House last Sunday, it has been a week of commendable dissemination of information in a transparent and accountable manner by the Government.

Previous experience in government is coming in handy for new Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe who’s first assignment in his docket has literally been coronavirus.

Mutahi Kagwe has sounded and appeared sure and assuring in his briefings, a demeanor expected of governments and those in charge in times of tragedies.

On communication overall, the Government is so far progressing on an impressive run.

Then there is this rare and equally commendable phenomenon; the unusual silence of our politicians.

The quality of air in the atmosphere of the Kenyan political landscape has not been this fresh in a long time.

The toxic, divisive rhetoric whether about BBI or 2022, Kieleweke or Tanga Tanga has taken an unusual break with the normally acerbic and chest-thumping political class going human, and cowering in fear of coronavirus.

Both houses of Parliament have been suspended but politicians are not rushing to public rallies or press conferences to insult each other anytime soon.

It was however disappointing that both houses failed to offer leadership in such a crucial time.

Isn’t this the time normally parliaments stand up to be counted?

Wasn’t this the moment for the Houses, to jointly or separately offer some thoughts on the crisis; even simple things like standing with, suggesting to or making demands of the Executive?

Instead, our members of parliament were in a hurry to grab the nearest mask and head out to the safety of that place and state which ironically every politician on earth hates; isolation.

The disappointing exit from Houses of Parliament notwithstanding, the political silence around the country is as welcome as the countless bottles of sanitizers coronavirus has forced us to discover.

That is my kicker.

Linus Kaikai is the Director of Strategy and Innovation at Royal Media Services

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