Desperate to divert attention from its own failures, and deflect blame away to the most convenient scapegoat they can get hold of, the G.o.K has now turned their ‘blame guns’ on Tanzanians, and i am a very disappointed Kenyan because majority of Kenyans appear to have swallowed the narrative hook, line and sinker. To illustrate how wrong they could be by believing that Tanzanians are the real enemy, let us examine the two reasons that everyone holding this misguided view will quickly throw your way when you ask them why they think Tanzanians are dripping with Corona, and that the G.o.K’s real reason for closing the border was to protect us.
The first is that for a while now, the Tanzanian Minister for Health hasn’t been seen at a podium reading out figures or lecturing citizens like Mutahi Kagwe has been doing. The idea that a CS mechanically regurgitating figures in front of Cameras is a sign of how seriously a government is in combating Covid19 falls flat on its face when you consider the fact that the most successful governments in the fight thus far haven’t made the press briefings the ‘alpha and omega’ of their fight. They only call the press when there is a real need to, and real updates to offer. They focus more on the fight, than on the optics of it.
If you doubt this, just Google and you might discover that Kenya was perhaps the only Country in the world that went about it in that rather bizarre manner. Thankfully, they have woken up to how ridiculous their approach was, and Kagwe now sends the briefs to newsrooms without bothering us with ‘breaking news’ that ain’t even news to begin with. Closer home, next door in Uganda where the press are called only when they should be, the government which has received only a fraction of the funds that the G.o.K has received thus far, is supplying all ~ yes, ALL ~ Ugandans aged 6 years and above with free masks. Instead of asking for our free masks and other PPEs, we are busy hurling barbs at a Country that has its focus on the real stuff.
Have you wondered why out of Tanzania’s eight neighbours, it is only Kenya that has beef with Tanzania over Covid19? Or why immediately after closing the border, they quickly sent the Ambassador to TZ to apologise and beg TZ not to retaliate? Why would you believe Kenya’s assertion that all the 53 Tanzanian truck drivers that it denied entry into Kenya had Covid19 as the gospel truth, but refuse to accept Tanzania’s revelation that 19 Kenyan truck drivers had posted positive for Corona?
But even more ridiculous is the fact that besides the failure to see the Tanzanian government on a podium reading figures, the only other ‘incontrovertible evidence’ that a Kenyan will wave at you is some three or so video clips that some guy posted several weeks ago showing people lying on the streets, in which he claims that they were not only dead, but had died from Covid19. Before such clips can be considered as water tight evidence that Tanzanians are dripping with Corona and must kept out of Kenya, you’d need to explain the following.
1. Those clips are several weeks old, and none other has surfaced, leading to the question; why would Corona suddenly wake up one day, go round flooring Tanzanians and littering their streets with bodies, and then stop abruptly the next day?
2. Out of a population of 60 Million Tanzanians with 48 Million phones and cameras, how come only one individual witnessed and recorded Tanzanians dropping dead on the streets?
3. What tests did he conduct on the bodies he filmed lying on pavements to first confirm that they were all indeed dead, and that the cause of death was without a doubt Covid19? Did he collect samples, send to the lab, wait for days and receive the results?
4. If Covid19 is indeed so rampant that Tanzanians are dying in droves on the streets before they get to hospital, how come their hospitals and health facilities have not been overrun and overwhelmed by the huge masses of sick people ravaged by the Virus?
I could go on listing, but i bet the two points i set out to make are home. First, that if you believe everything that the G.o.K tells you without question, you could end up barking up the wrong tree, as they pull other clandestine moves on the side. Secondly, that if you believe everything that you see on the internet, you run the risk of swallowing fake news and propaganda hook, line and sinker!
By Onyinkwa Onyakundi