The Star (Kenya)
Ruto allies must stop insulting the President
In the distant past, people who the government of the day found annoying were rounded up and beaten, tortured, or killed. Victims suffered the consequences of the government, or more precisely the wrath of those close to the President for agitating for change or government accountability. This ended with the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
However, it cannot be that because Kenya has brought herself in line with other democracies where a healthy opposition is welcome, that the pendulum must swing to the other end of the extreme. That politicians can openly and publicly disrespect the President without any fear of any repercussion.
Deputy President William Ruto allies continue to publicly disrespect President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi recently referred to Uhuru’s mother in the most vulgar manner to make a non-point he could have made a thousand different ways without dragging mothers and breasts to his tirade.
Before that, it was Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ngeno who spoke about Uhuru in a very disrespectful manner, and possibly in violation of anti-incitement laws.
The conduct by these men and others is totally unacceptable and a dangerous trend that must be nixed.
Not long ago, Kenyans were outraged when a policeman was filmed grabbing and squeezing a man’s genitals during arrest. No surveys have been done but most men would
have your genitals squeezed and worse if you say something about their mothers they find offensive.
Ngeno dared to have Uhuru have him shot and Sudi echoed the same sentiments. This is foolish besides being over the top in recklessness.
Uhuru need not have anyone shot but history is replete with examples where people have drawn their last breaths because one responsible has done so as a favour, not because they have been asked to do so.
There is no one who is indispensable in Kenya and wiser counsel for Ruto and his men is to accept the reality they find themselves and live to fight another day.
When I first heard Sudi’s comments, I shared the video clip to a friend who replied saying we cannot expect anything less from a former tout. My thought in response was, no, even touts must be required to have and maintain basic norms of decency and civility.
Indecency and incivility are often associated with bullies or people who have failed in life and thus resort to it as a means of coping.
We can all identify or recall bullies growing up. All of them were
never smart, always the bottom of the class.
These are the same individuals who are uncivil, insulting left, centre and right in all manner of uncouth, bile insults, especially in social media and comments online.
It is one thing these uncouth characters are in social media defaming and insulting with abandon, often in faceless and nameless. You cannot even sue them for defamation because they are dead broke and not a dime to their name
One wonders how they can afford bundles to have access to the internet but most of them are given handouts by politicians to come and insult and regurgitate words and phrases they do not know the meaning.
It is quite another thing to have politicians, the educated and professionals engage in the same backward behaviour, insulting, and disrespecting others, including the President at will and without abandon.
While we must demand decency and decorum from all our leaders, the President and his family must be out of bounds for any disrespect or insults.