BWIRE: Action will cure Kenya, not crocodile tears
Politicking at funerals especially by politicians or worse, rushing to give public briefings outside morgues following the death of persons you have rarely been interacting with, even ahead of their kin is the highest level of insensitivity and insincerity one can show.
It’s immoral, trickery and opportunistic behaviour that must be stopped. A sensible person, with any sense of civility should feel ashamed of such weird actions.
It’s the crudest form of seeking public attention and pushing idleness to the next level. While sociologists would want to convince us that such action might be because of guilt consciousness – because some of the people doing such might have failed to visit the deceased while alive because of tight schedules or related, I refuse to board and see that as a very primitive way of seeking political mileage and or publicity for such matter.
The death of a loved one is an emotionally draining period and families must be left to mourn in peace, outside the media and public stunts that we are seeing around mortuaries and during funerals, occasioned by attention seekers, who in most extreme cases would even give a brief about the deceased, cause of death and related without consulting with the family.
In most cases, the said idlers and funeral brokers would start the public briefing sessions or media briefings even without stepping into the morgues in the first instance.
In the funerals, the politicians and attention seekers would keep you waiting for hours, hold the bereaved family’s hostage and frustrate the clergy, by engaging irrelevant topics, long speeches and insensitive discussions that have got nothing to do with the event, and will immediately, leave some little money, and give false excuses on why they must leave for another function.
A recent study released by Mzalendo Trust on the Citizen perceptions of the roles of public and state officers especially those in political leadership positions found out that Kenyans have very little knowledge on the role of their leaders.
Given the little time that is given to educating the public on key issues including for example the role of MPs or Governors, and from the perception the leaders give to the public — mainly including through funerals, burials, tragedies and related humanitarian activities — our leaders go away with many sins.
Many of the leaders are not judged on their key mandates of oversight, legislation and related, but on such things as participating in harambees, flamboyance outside Parliament and media appearances.
The Report released last week indicates that most of the political leaders are more known and interact with the electorate in simple issues including greetings, seeking personal assistance and their personal humanitarian and public appearances on persona issues overshadowing their actual official roles as elected leaders.
The study has very interesting findings about our leaders and perception of Kenyans on the roles of the offices.
It’s important and desirable that our leaders and other Kenyans with the habit of seeking cheap publicity, and political mileage from tragedies including deaths desist from such behaviour.
It’s unwelcome and utterly deplorable for our leaders, who many times have no time to visit ailing colleagues to outdo each other including outside mortuaries and at funerals to feign closeness or shed crocodile tears, simply because of seeking attention at the expense of the families.
As you deal with your guilt consciousness and seek the publicity that is associated with such tragedies including death, stop and remind yourself, its immoral and the highest form of insensitivity to take advantage of misfortune to gain political mileage.
Let the bereaved mourn and bury the dead in peace, and your small contribution or other favours are unwelcome if they are meant to subject the suffering to ridicule and disrespect, because you must show off.
The writer is the Head of Media Development and Strategy, the Media Council of Kenya