Nkaissery Siren Directive and Implications [opinion] (allAfrica.com)

THE recent directive by Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery reinforced by acting Inspector General of Police Samuel Arachi regarding the use of strobe lights and sirens fitted in so-called VIPs’ cars and other private vehicles is likely to provoke a torrent of raw emotion.
This is especially since he said only emergency vehicles, the President and the Deputy President’s cars should be fitted the devices.
It will be interesting to see the reaction and whether this directive will be implemented, given Cord leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as well as powerful men without authority like shadowy ‘business’ mogul Paul Kobia, National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale, governors and others have these devices mounted on the cars in their entourages.
Already, the state has pressed hate speech charges against Cord-affiliated bloggers.
It is not the first time such a directive is being issued.
In May 2013 the then government spokesman, Muthui Kariuki, accused the former Prime Minister of using sirens, vehicles fitted with strobe lights and driving in the wrong lane, contrary to the law, to evade traffic.
The ensuing uproar was like a powerful volcano overflowing with lava from extremists and zealots on both sides of the political divide.
We have become a country where every public discourse is decontextualised then heavily peppered with ethnic overtones.
As usual, the message was trashed and Muthui accused of all manner of things, including being an ethnic supremacist, witch-hunting, a marionette bidding for his masters’ covert agenda and being petty.
Demonstrations were held, and effigies burnt.
What was never said then intentionally or otherwise is that there is Raila the man and Raila the statesman whose office was now defunct.
Going by the latter, Raila’s handlers were responsible for these unfortunate harangues because Cord is guilty of inaction.
They could have used the National Assembly to bring amendments to the Traffic Act for the exemption of the two Cord supremos.
Now the mud gets thick. Nkaissery is a player perceived to have been borrowed from Cord.
How he handles this highly emotive issue will be closely watched and discussed.
Will he disgrace his party boss now that he emphatically said earlier he only has three bosses, namely God in heaven, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto? Which way, Nkaissery?
This is a serious litmus test of leadership for Uhuru.
Will his government follow the strict interpretation of the traffic law, bearing in mind both Raila and Kalonzo are not mere flotsam in the river of our politics?
Will he grant ‘special’ status to his opponents allowing them such privileges? Will he showcase brilliance and a kind heart like he did for Fidel Odinga’s funeral by donating Air Force choppers, including his own military helicopter, to ferry the fallen son of the former PM?
Very tough and dispiriting choices indeed. But Uganda, Tanzania, Brazil, Namibia and Mozambique offer the President great lessons to emulate.
Whichever way it goes, Cord MPs must now think beyond the obvious and about framing bills in Parliament to insulate its leaders from such shame.
The MPs share the blame for their inability to foresee such situations earlier before they turn into unmitigatable nightmares.
Onyango Ochieng Jr is a political and communications consultant.
Source: Business