Opinion: Kenyatta, this was not the time to give away the rose…

A world where roses bloom

And when you speak, angels sing from above

Everyday words seem to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me

And life will always be

“La vie en rose”” Louis Armstrong – ‘La Vie En Rose’ (1950)

Well, I had to do this, as the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had the funds, the money and time to send 300 bouquets roses to the United Kingdom in solidarity. Not only that, the President booked a flight for this and wrote a message to front-liners of the UK. It is a nice gesture, but not the right time for him to do this. As the Kenyan economy, Kenyan society and citizens needs the support, his frontliners needs this and so fourth. Not sending this to London and the former colonizers. It is just weird. Could expect Macky Sall sending flowers to Paris. He loves France, but seeing Kenyatta doing this is just weird.

Just look at this:

There have been a few moments in history when the world has faced a crisis as far-reaching and consequential as this. It is exactly at moments such as this that we must display our humanity, perseverance and hope. Whatever the adversity, no matter the foe, we shall triumph together. We stand united. Tuko Pamoja.From Kenya with love – H E Uhuru Kenyatta” (Standard Media, 25.04.2020).

It is nice with solidarity and showing goodwill. Have never really any trouble with that. That is supposed to be positive. That its happening the opposite way is also a good thing. However, I hope the frontliners of UK is happy for this. Because, this is a costly endeavour and lack of priority.

Kenyatta should focus on fixing the Health Care, Hospitals, getting PPE and ventilators. Ensuring the governors have funds to give away food for the needy. Securing the citizens with what they need during the lockdown. Not, spending a fortune on a gig and gifts to the United Kingdom. This plane and the cost of doing so could have saved more lives and food for the ones whose starving. That is what the President decided to do.

The Kenyan President is free to do this, but he should answer the Parliament for the expenditure and the costs of doing this. Yes, the flower industry is hit – worldwide. That is why the Netherlands is struggling to sell their flowers on the European continent. The same is most likely hitting the Kenyan roses too. As the worldwide lockdown is hitting the export industry. The sending of 300 bouquets is a symbolic action to remember the flower industry in Kenya. However, the UK will not resolve this quickly. They will forget this act in a swift second.

As quick as the flowers came on the tables and to the frontliners. It will be forgotten in the heartache and suffering, as the COVID-19 deaths are appearing. Kenyatta should know this, but he uses yet another Cambridge Analytica PR Stunt. Thinking this will solve things. These flowers will be gone as I write. The bouquets will be forgotten in the UK.

Instead of using this resources, paying nurses, doctors and import needed goods. He spent a small fortune export flowers. That is wrong priorities in the midsts of this crisis. Some might say in the scheme of things, hiring the plane and buying the flowers isn’t so costly. Well, for the ones living hand to mouth and waiting for help. These funds are more valuable then ever. Especially, during a global pandemic. When IMF and other international organizations starting to suspend loan interests and others to cover the expenses of this time.

That is the moment to show austerity and priority for your own. That isn’t selfish, but the right thing to do. You are not trying to give the last rose on the Bachelor. No, you giving the ugali to the one person who needed it more. The UK don’t need your flowers now. Sure, they appreciated it and enjoyed it for a brief second. However, the cost for that isn’t worth it. Especially, knowing the state of affairs at home. Peace.

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