There were loud condemnations after the image of an elderly grandmother on top of wheelbarrow hoisted above the crowd by young men was published as a highlight of a political rally addressed by DP William Ruto in Embu County.
The disturbing image with the old lady still clutching her walking stick atop the wheelbarrow with her legs sticking out was published on DP Ruto’s social media pages but was later deleted following an outcry especially from women leaders.
Many said the dignity of the old lady and indeed of all women had been sacrificed at the altar of cheap politics following act dismissed as indecent.
Prominent Nairobi business lady and Nairobi County gubernatorial seat aspirant Agnes Kagure said it was wrong to objectify women describing the whole saga as disappointing and heartbreaking.
Kagure said politics should never be used to take way the respect for others and especially the elderly members of our society.
“Our politics must never take away the respect we have for ourselves and others, especially the elderly. Let us always be champions of dignified political competition driven by agenda and dignity, and not euphoria. We can do it,’’ said Kagure.
She said the risk taken on the elderly lady was not worth it and that the entire episode was sad, embarrassing and dehumanizing.
Prof Makau Mutua described the incident as the most “indecent assault on the human dignity of a grandmother he has ever seen publicly celebrated in Kenya.
“Does Ruto and his UDA party believe in any morals at all? Does the end justify the means? Will such assault on vulnerable elders help him capture power?’’ Mutua asked.
Mutua said UDA should be ashamed of themselves and need to exercise common sense and exhibit basic decency and respect for women and elderly in their ungoverned greed to capture state power.