NAIROBI, Kenya June 7 – Anxiety piled up across the country ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s address Saturday.
Many used various social media platforms to express their wish to the President, but there was a cautious lot that predicted the outcome.
And when he addressed the nation, he said he was aware of the anxiety from Kenyans and even the memes they were sharing on social media–all of which were wishful thinking.
“I have seen various memes doing the rounds on social media on Independence Day and Freedom Day, this is not about independence, this is a matter of life, we are not doing this to hurt anyone but to ensure we protect the lives of Kenyans,” he said of the extended guidelines.
So hilarious were the memes that some social media users chose to entice the president with sweet words, with others describing his colourful shirts.
With his address, Kenyans are staring at another 30 days of the dusk to dawn curfew, cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi Metropolitan area, Mombasa and Mandera and a ban on all forms of gatherings, including political meetings.
Bars will also remain closed for the entire period.
The curfew, Kenyatta said, will now start from 9 pm to 4 am to enable businesses to thrive for more hours while the cessation of movement in and out of Mombasa, Eastleigh, Kilifi, and Kwale will end on June 7 at 4 am.
He, however, urged Kenyans to remain calm even with the extension of the measures further acknowledging the hard times Kenyans are going through.
He assured that his Government had no intentions to disappoint and hurt Kenyans adding that he initially fronted the idea of opening the economy which was opposed by experts.
“I thought we would relax the measures, even better than we have done, but it’s only a fool would not listen to his advisors. Our advisors have said that opening will be a mistake and would endanger the lives of Kenyans,” he warned.
Kenyatta further acknowledged that the pandemic has had a huge effect on the economy but maintained that opening up the economy would have a long term impact on the country.
“Our experts have warned that even if we think we are rescuing the economy, in the end, the economy will remain sabotaged,” he said, accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries and some of the experts from the Ministry of Health.
He, however, assured that measures taken are meant to protect Kenyans further urging citizens to trust in God that the country will overcome the pandemic.
“We have consulted with teachers, parents and religious institutions and they agree that we should not open schools, if we open them, we will be providing more room for the virus to spread further ,” he said.
Under the new measures, schools will resume progressive normalcy for the third term from September 1. He directed the Ministry of Education to issue a new calendar by mid-Aug on the new schedule of school activities.