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COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli briefs the press on the resolutions of a western region caucus attended by, among others, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka/COURTESY

Capital Health

Atwoli’s western region caucus raises queries on adherence to COVID-19 prevention protocols

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – A cross section of Kenyans have expressed concern over the flagrant violation of COVID-19 containment protocols which include a State-imposed ban on social gatherings exceeding fifteen persons.

Opinion leaders took to social media to express concern over violations by political leaders including senior government officials after images emerged of a western region politicians’ consultative forum hosted by Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli and attended by, among others, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.

Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi called out the political leaders, calling them a fraudulent lot.

“It is time we called out Kenyan political leaders for the fraud they are. They declare a curfew for COVID-19 and demand we obey but they don’t. They restrict movement but they are moving freely,” Havi tweeted.

“They say no succession politics but are politicking. What more lies can they tell us?” he posed.

Atwoli hosted over forty leaders from western region at his Kajiado home which is outside the restricted Nairobi Metropolitan Area placed under containment with movement in and out of the area having been prohibited except for cargo transportation.

The caucus which canvassed matters regarding the unity of western region’s predominant ethnic group – Luhya – tasked Atwoli, Wamalwa and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya to lead negotiations for the community’s interests ahead of the 2022 presidential election.

Ian Mbugwa, a renowned film actor, mucis instructor and adjudicator sarcastically asked if he could host a similar gathering without attracting the attention of authorities.

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Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen wondered how such meetings would take place without the intervention of the police.

“If you can open the bars then we can open churches. Please tuwache ukora (let’s stop deceit). Open the CHURCHES!” he tweeted.

Since the enforcement of the dusk-to-dawn curfew and cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Mandera, members of the public found on the wrong side of the law, including those found without masks, have felt the wrath of the police with most being forced into containment camps to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Images also emerged on meetings similar to Atwoli’s held by Governors Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) and Anne Waiguru(Kirinyaga) highlighting the increased violation of COVID-19 prevention guidelines among politicians.

Meanwhile, Mathira lawmaker, Rigathi Gachagua Saturday was involved in a confrontation with armed police officers who disrupted and forced him to end his speech during a burial ceremony he attended.

Speaking during the burial of Konyu ward representative Erick Wamumbi’s wife, Catherine Nyambura, he said that the government should employ uniformity in dealing with social gatherings.

“Yesterday, we saw Atwoli and others hosting huge crowds why are they denying us yet we are Kenyans like them,” said Gachagua.

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