Politicians under fire for flouting Uhuru rallies ban

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021 23:13 | By
ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses supporters in Garissa town, yesterday. Photo/Courtesy

Politicians have once again been accused of disregarding the Covid-19 protocols as they continue to hold campaign rallies in various parts of the country.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has banned all political gatherings, including campaigns for next year’s election, but the order is being ignored by most politicians, thus putting the lives of Kenyans at a risk.

 Last week, Uhuru and his handshake partner Raila Odinga addressed huge gatherings in Kibera, Nairobi.

Raila has had a series of political rallies in Mombasa and Mt Kenya region where most attendees ignored health protocols such as wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.

Deputy President William Ruto has also been holding rallies across the country to drum up support for his presidential bid.

At the weekend, Ruto was in Nakuru and Kisii counties where he held rallies in total disregard of Covid-19 protocols.

Businessman and ODM presidential hopeful Jimmy Wanjigi has also embarked on campaign tours, with the latest being a series of meetings with delegates in Mombasa. 

Double standards

Kanu national chairman Gideon Moi has recently held delegates meetings in Kwale and Mombasa counties. Last week, the party’s delegates converged at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi to endorse his presidential candidature.

Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council (KEMNAC) is among organisations that are concerned about the violation of the Covid-19 prevention rules by politicians, saying there was double standards in application of the law.

“We have witnessed that the people who are supposed to guide the public on the adherence to the law are the ones breaking it by collecting crowds in total disregard of the protocols.

We feel bad as religious leaders because of the double standards,” said KEMNAC National chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao.

“We’re concerned that politics is contributing to the spread of Covid-19. We want enforcers to ensure strict adherence to protocols or else let the government open up the country just like Tanzania has done,” added Ngao. 

He said the government should embark on mass vaccination of Kenyans and open up the country. 

“Other countries like our neighbour Tanzania did not close borders. Instead, they have decided to embrace Covid-19 protocols. I think Kenya needs to borrow a leaf from Tanzania,” he said.

Mvita MP Abdulswamand Nassir is among legislators who want the President to open up the economy. 

Kenyans who worked in night shifts have suffered economic burden due to prolonged curfews imposed by the government.

“We want to state that it is now time to open the economy because many Kenyans have now taken Covid-19 jabs.

There is no need to let Kenyans continue suffering economically, let’s open up the country,” said Nassir.

In August, Uhuru extended nationwide curfew rules for another 60 days while he also directed that social gatherings, including weddings, be restricted to not more than 100 people. 

Adherence to most of the rules has, however, remained a pipe dream.

Most of the institutions affected due to the prevention measures include tourist hotels as they no longer hold late night activities and long-distance bus companies who have been forced to ground some of their fleets due the restrictions. 

More on News