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Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Principal Secretary Susan Mochache during a session with a Parliamentary Committee on Health to brief them on COVID-19 progress in the country.

Kenya

Include us in essential services list: MPs

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29- Members of the National Assembly now want to be listed as essential service providers saying they are being harassed by police officers during curfew hours yet their legislative roles are critical during coronavirus pandemic period.

Kandara Member of Parliament Alice Wahome raised the concern claiming that Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru was recently humiliated by police for being outside few minutes to curfew hours.

Kenya implementing a dusk to dawn curfew that start at 7pm to 5am, since the beginning of March.

“Two days ago, Catherine Waruguru and Annabel Nungare who are nursing babies were held by police under unclear circumstances for two hours yet they were not beyond the curfew hours. I think it is important that the issue of the Members is relooked,”   she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by her colleagues led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who said MPs are suffering for being excluded from the list of the essential service providers yet their roles are critical

“My own wife was also humiliated at the same checkpoint where honorable Waruguru was humiliated. Mind you, she had a pass. So I am wondering if a potential first lady could be harassed, how about ordinary people?” Kuria posed.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan faulted the author of the list saying he/she should have included them.

“It was wrong for anybody to have excluded us. We have a critical role in the governance of this country. It is not a privilege. Let Members of Parliament be included in the list of the essential service providers. This is the only way we will avoid suffering,” said Keynan.

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The list of essential service providers include medial personnel, security forces, the media among others.

On Saturday President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew as well as the ban on movement in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area and the counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa and Mandera by 21 more days.

Only essential service providers were excluded from 7pm to 5am curfew.

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