When singer Bahati literally forced President Uhuru Kenyatta to vacate from his official seat and sat on it last Saturday at the Kasarani Stadium during the official grand launch of Jubilee Party, the invisible red line; the social distance that defines relationships had been crossed.
The fellow, did not just have the guts to ‘unseat’ President Uhuru; he also went ahead to place his feet on the side table where the Head of State’s water is normally placed.
Perhaps, as has been argued by some quarters, it was just entertainment.
However, in all fairness, Bahati’s behaviour was uncouth, ill-mannered and disrespectful, his fame notwithstanding.
To begin with, the President is the Commander In Chief, and thus, allowing the singer to sit on his seat was a breach of protocol as per the military. For those who may not be aware, the President’s official seat is a crucial instrument of power; no wonder there is a fellow – on the government payroll – whose sole assignment is to ferry the seat around for presidential functions.
Secondly, because of the symbolism of the position he occupies, at all times the security of the Head of State is key. Allowing Bahati to ‘unseat’ President Uhuru was a breach of presidential security and even if he himself has sought to demystify the Presidency, that is no licence for breaches that might compromise his safety.
Finally,the President and the Deputy President deserve respect. It was wrong for them to be forced into a dance. In most cases, joining the dance is voluntary and it could depend on the two principals. The musician further dragged First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Mrs Rachael Ruto into the dance almost embarrassing them.