NYERI, Kenya, May 30 – Mathira lawmaker Rigathi Gachagua Saturday confronted a contingent of armed police officers over what he termed as biased regulation of social gatherings, the government having prohibited meetings extending fifteen attendees in measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The outspoken legislator, a die-hard supporter of Deputy President William Ruto, was forced to end his address at the burial of Konyu ward representative Erick Wamumbi’s wife, Catherine Nyambura, when police officers disrupted the ceremony citing contravention of COVID-19 prevention protocols.
“The government should employ uniformity in dealing with social gatherings,” he protested citing the flagrant violation of similar restrictions by Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli who hosted dozens of leaders from the western region for a political caucus on Friday.
“Yesterday, we saw Atwoli and others hosting huge crowds why are they denying us yet we are Kenyans like them,” said Gachagua.
The bereaved MCA was forced to intervene amid the ensuing standoff pleading with the officers to let him mourn his wife peacefully.
The ceremony was then hurriedly concluded with Gachagua taking to the podium after the graveside rites to condemn police action which he termed as targeted prosecution of leaders allied to DP Ruto who has increasingly faced resistance from within government in the recent months.
In his speech, he said that people should not be forced to make certain political decision insisting he will take political decisions he feels are right.
“People should be allowed to make their own political decision and already others have done so. Why all this drama,” the lawmaker retorted.
He said that it is unfortunate for the government to apply double standards while regulating gatherings.
Gachagua said that it was unnecessary for huge contingent of police officers to ward off mourners who are following guidelines set but ministry of health.
Nyeri Women Representative Rahab Mukami who arrived at the burial after the police officers had cordoned off the area was denied entry.
Mukami told press that she was denied entry due to politics since she belongs to the Ruto camp.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria , Kikuyu’s Kimani Ichungwa and Kiharu’s Ndidi Nyoro, all expected to attend the burial, did not attend the ceremony.
Catherine Nyambura died after she drowned at Hohwe dam.