Engage the President

By Timothy Ivusah

Less than six months after Yassin Moyo was shot by careless officers during the curfew crackdown in Kiamaiko, another child aged 3 years was shot in Kahawa Wendani while in the arms of her mother who missed the bullet by a whisker. It is said that the officers fired in the air to scatter the mob that was lynching three thieves and has therefore been classified as accidental murder. 

What is really happening?The police are supposed to be the protectors of the law but since the outbreak of covid 19 the converse has been proving itself to be true. The directives given by Matiang’i to Mutyambai and the remaining chain of clowns seem to be affecting the middle and low class mostly. That no one should be served if he/she isn’t wearing a face mask is a fair approach, but to charge citizens a fine of 20,000/- on the spot with no arrests, no charges, no jail term is ridiculous. 

Since when did the National Police Service get the right to prosecute or fine individuals on behalf of the courts of law? 

Imagine the ordinary mwananchi who is just getting back on his/her feet after the first wave, struggling to secure a meal for their loved ones, while bills and debts continue to strangle them from each corner. 

I know the president is aware of all this but as always he is casting a blind eye. Do you have any idea where the COVID-19 millionaires disappeared to? Well, I don’t either. But if you’re guessing, then your guess is good as mine. The same law that is demeaning the peasants is the same law protecting the rich lawbreakers. 

Why should the police as the law enforcer arrest me for not wearing a face mask while he does not have one on? Is it because he is the police so the law grants him a free pass? Or are they immune to the virus. The predicament doesn’t end there. I was unlucky to be arrested during to the crackdown on illegal gathering against the COVID 19 measures. My fellow human right defenders[nine to be exact] and I had decided to hold a peaceful demonstration at KWSC[shujaa mall] to complain about the shortage of water in kayole mostly during the pandemic and the sudden uprise of water cartels.

Despite observing all the measures as stipulated by the Ministry of Health, we were arrested and stacked in a crowded police van and later directed to an overly crowded police cell in Soweto. Here, no protocol was observed .There was no social distance and our face masks were confiscated among other items which were given back upon our release. I still observe this trend when I go to bail my friends out. 

I would like to finish by saying that I know COVID is real. What is even more real is the fear imposed to us by the law of the land. If the federal state wants us to abide by the rules as we’ve been doing, then they should chip in and provide sanitizers,face masks and relief funds to the wananchi so that in case you are arrested for breaking the rules then you can be held fully accountable. 

Perhaps this pandemic ought to serve as a wake-up call and a premonition for us to see clearly what has been happening right under our noses that we couldn’t see because we were blindfolded with little incentives and subsidies distributed unevenly. 

Yassin Moyo’s and the other child’s death and any other human rights violation that was perpetuated during this break out , should not go unpunished. Their families should get the justice they deserve.Engage the president.


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