Kenyans On Social Media Subject Government To International Shame For Giving A Free Pass To Coronavirus

As an African child, I did not have my way in anything from schooling, dressing, eating, and even socializing. My parents were the final say and anything contrary to the rule of the day would be met with dire consequences. As children, we would always find ways to beat the system. For instance, if you announced that you need a bag of chips or a bicycle for performing well in school in front of visitors, one thing was for sure, a thorough African beating after the visitors were gone, but a bag of chips anyway to mask the momentary embarrassment.

The Kenya we live in today has taken this exact course and Kenyans On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and other social media platforms are the official snitches. The Government of Kenya assumes African parents who will only address anything at their will (if at all), and if they admit there is an issue, they will act dumb folded. For the government to give a free pass to the killer virus Corona and then turn around and point fingers at agencies and the citizenry for ‘exaggerating’ the situation, it portrays pure absurdity.

In the past, Criminal cases and capital offenses have developed on social media almost leaving the DCI useless in investigations since almost every detail unfolds on posts, Direct messages and comment sections then reinforced with a hashtag. It has become a way to keep the government in check. This time around, Kenyans on Twitter let` the world know how the Kenyan government is handling the deadly COVID19.

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Coronavirus Fiasco

On the 26th day of February, Chinese flight CZ6043 landed at 0730hrs at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport carrying 239 passengers from mainland China. From the video, shot by a staff member at the airport, receiving personnel on the ground wear no gas masks or any kind of protection from the looming Coronavirus. After their arrival, the ministry of health only gave a directive that the visitors from China should self-quarantine for 14 days before interacting with the public. This directive only went as far as that with no follow up at all or any quarantine measures.

Kenyans on social media wasted no time in blowing the whistle and calling out the government for exposing millions of Kenyans to the killer disease in exchange for revenue being brought in by the foreigners. Calls to impeach government officials starting with the President, through hashtags and account tags online have been trending since with some claiming that this could be a conspiracy to import the virus with plans to embezzle money meant for treatment and quarantine in the Kenyan fashion of inflated budgets.

The video shot by now suspended staff member Gire Ali has been making rounds on foreign cable networks, social media platforms giving Nairobi a new description; ‘Sixth riskiest City In Africa’ with regards to the Coronavirus. Reaction from the international community has been overwhelming and the Kenyan government has been put to shame for being reckless and careless, even greedy for prioritizing money at the risk of its Citizenry.

Government officials pushing for continuity of flights from mainland China have also been put on blast for lying that the country has the capacity to handle the epidemic and that it is safe for both visitors and residents. As is, the health facilities in the country are in Shambles; inadequate professionals, equipment, medicine and basic effects such as beds and sanitation areas. These conditions are in no way right to handle the epidemic COVID19 is.

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Kenya is slowly following in China’s ways where façade matters than reality. The social media administration is however not taking this lying down and just from behind screens and keyboards, Kenyans have attracted organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and international governments now warning the Kenyan government against flirting with death.

Even as high court’s rule that the flights from China be suspended for 10 days stands, China Southern Airlines has suspended flights connecting Guangzhou, Changsha, and Nairobi until further notice after the Kenyan government refused to suspend this very flights. Word has it that backlash from other countries over the China flight landing in Kenya advised this move… All as a result of a social media movement.

It is unfortunate that even after thousands of deaths from COVID19 and confirmed cases of the virus, the Kenyan government still chooses to dance with death even with its inadequate capacity to handle such an epidemic.

So far, over 80 airlines globally have stopped flights to China and South Korea alongside travel advisories to citizens across the world.

Gathoni Kuria

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