ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi has cautioned Kenyans against calling for a total lockdown as a measure to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Kenyans who were polled and suggested they favoured a lockdown perhaps don’t know what a lockdown means. With the partial lockdown of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, I doubt the same Kenyans will vote for it again,” he said.
According to Mudavadi, a total lockdown means declaring a state of emergency where police will be overwhelmed by disorder and the army will have to be deployed to help maintain law and order.
“We’ll be practically under martial law with overzealous armed personnel. Basic civil rights will be suspended during that period,” he said.
“Therefore, Kenyans should not advocate for it at any cost. We must do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus by applying basic hygiene and thus avoid the declaration of a state of emergency.”
“If we don’t keep these simple protection measures, then we are doing injustice to ourselves and creating more chances for the virus spread, which will result in a total lockdown,” Mudavadi said.
“But I am not saying there might not come a time when we go under total lockdown.”
Mudavadi noted that the virus had narrowed the gap between the rich and the poor, as the former cannot fly out for medical treatment.
“This should serve as an eye-opener to us as leaders. We need to better our country with all the required equipment for the benefit of our people,” he said.
Mudavadi said Kenyans are already going through difficult times and a total lockdown would only make things worse.
“The economic meltdown, business closures, joblessness, customer desertion, expensive food, hunger and loss of social networks have led to a stressful existence,” he said.
“A total lockdown will therefore only aggravate an already bad situation, with dire consequences.”