BY PROF DR HALIMU SHAURI
Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Pwani University & Consultant Sociologist
On my article today morning on the corona curfew, I have received text messages, calls and responses on my post.
These callers and the messages and comments were all clear that the Presidential announced curfew was unfair for the poor.
I heard narratives that the poor have no food, they work hand to mouth and have to hustle for their daily bread and needs. In one of the write-ups by my readers one said:
“As an After Thought in Line With Ur Sentiments Prof, Methink the curfew Is not for the Average Kenyan Middle Class living in their 2/3 bedrum Homes with fully stocked Fridges enaf to.last thm Two weeks bt For the Wanjikus and Onyangos who survive on Daily Wages to feed their Families…Next tym the Middle class think of Asking for a total lockdown they shud remember tht The wanjikus and Onyangos wont die while the Smell of chapatis cometh frm their Homes…They will enter frm any entrance and take away their food resulting in total chaos…”
I want to make it clear that the corona curfew from my professional standpoint was well thought out, congratulations Mr President.
How you are asking? Yes, whoever advised the president of the timings did their homework well, and we need to give them accolades too and support to make it successful.
In my professional view, 5am to 7pm corona curfew starting a few hours tonight is in order. The so called poor can look for their daily bread from 5am – 7pm, after which everybody, including me should be in the house.
This time is enough for us to hustle out our daily bread. In fact, this is better as a total lockdown or shutdown will even be worse, we should not pray to go there. In fact, this should be enough pain to change our ways and help the fight.
Others were saying, really annoying things characteristic of we Kenyans, that the president thinks corona is spread at night! Surely even if you are talented to make jokes, some jokes don’t produce laughter but reveal your insensitivity.
When the curfew was put in the timeframe a lot of consideration and consultations and discussions were done.
The presidency is an institution; Mr Uhuru did not just wake up and made the announcement! Surely, fellow Kenyans!
In fact, when you ask me I will tell you without fear of contradiction and professionally that the corona curfew will punish more the middle and upper class individuals.
These people, as you imagine having plenty of food in their fridges, which I don’t think so because I know many to have huge bank loans and hustling too! are the ones with extra disposable income.
They are the ones who meet in bars from 6pm after work to probably very late in the night. They relax or discuss business or cut deals during these times of the curfew as given than the low class or poor people.
Accordingly, they will suffer more losing their leisure time and business discussions than the poor.
Let’s sobbed up as Kenyans and begin to be positive and hopefully of the measures our government is putting in place.
If we have to speak, why can’t we make suggestions to help the steering committee, than make jokes and pass lies for a very serious challenge in our midst! Remember if we don’t conquer COVID-19, we are conquered!
This conquest has no one spared, rich or poor, white or Caucasian, we are all at risk and it’s only: V _ R _ S _ I & U who can save Kenya and the world.
Let’s break the transmission chain by doing our part and hence flatten the transmission curve.