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Leaders must obey Covid-19 safety rules

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EDITORIAL

By EDITORIAL
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The level of indiscipline among some leaders is baffling.

Everyone is now seized of the basic regulations to control spread of the coronavirus, among them social distancing and fidelity to hygiene rules. But not some political leaders.

Some of them have defied the regulations with impunity. Yet ordinary citizens found to flout any of the restrictions are arrested and quarantined.

We spotlight actions by Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who have been captured publicly violating health protocols espoused by the Health ministry.

In Meru, Governor Kiraitu organised a meeting to distribute protective gears to residents to enable them keep off the virus, but that was turned into a political rally at a time when such gatherings are prohibited. The ease with which the residents interacted defied government rules.

Similarly, Senator Murkomen convened a meeting in his county to console residents affected by the recent mudslides in the area that killed at least 18 people and left many displaced and disposed.

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Residents gathered and sat so close to each other, oblivious of risks they were exposing themselves to. Worse, most of them did not have protective gear, such as face masks, which are mandatory for those in public spaces.

These are senior leaders in the country. The people look up to them for direction and example. When they abet the violation of regulations, then the public is left aghast as to what to expect of their leaders.

And for that reason, they deserve to be sanctioned. In fact, we do not understand why no action has been taken against them. Any act of transgression has to be punished.

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Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, who had failed to isolate himself after a trip to Germany, was arrested, quarantined and later charged in court for flouting Covid-19 regulations.

He is now fighting his case in court. Similarly, Rome-based Catholic priest Richard Oduor, who violated the isolation rules, was seized and forced into quarantine and then charged in court.

The country is grappling with the epidemic and the signals are not promising. On Friday, the number of infections rose to 336 amid fears that we are yet to see the worst.

Numbers are likely to explode to dangerous levels and create an unmitigated disaster the country cannot deal with.

Examples of what has happened in other jurisdictions, especially US and Europe, are scary. Which is why the accent is to follow directives and avoid crisis.

Since Mr Murungi and Mr Murkomen have exposed themselves and their respective followers, they should be reined in and quarantined like everyone and sanctioned.

Unless and until everyone learns to follow the rules, we won’t win the war against coronavirus.





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