NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – The Interfaith Council has raised concerns over the increased political gatherings despite an existing ban to curb the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement issued on Monday, council’s Chairperson Archbishop Anthony Muheria said such gatherings are undoing the many gains that have been achieved so far in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
He called on Kenyans to desist from participating in such gatherings where little effort is made to observe the precautions and protocols given by the Ministry of Health.
“We witnessed a tremendous surge in infections in July and September 2021, but more worrying was the really high numbers of COVID-19 related deaths. The prevalence remained at over 15 percent for a very long time. We are glad to note that the numbers seem to be coming down and the prevalence stands at around 9 percent. Our concern as we have mentioned many times is the political gatherings which seem to undo many of the gains we make,” Muheria stated.
The Interfaith Council pleaded with the political class to seek alternative methods of popularizing themselves ahead of election in August 2022 that do not endanger the lives of citizens.
Top politicians in the country have been on the forefront flouting COVID-19 containment measures by holding rallies as they sell their agenda to Kenyans.
Deputy President and ODM leader Raila Odinga are among politicians who have been traversing the country promoting their agenda. Ruto has been selling his bottom up economic model under the Kazi ni Kazi call, vowing support small and medium business through promoting access to cheap credit while Odinga has been promising a united and cohesive country through his Azimio la Umoja platform.
ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi and businessman Jimmy Wanjigi have also been moving from one county to another popularizing their presidential bids in rallies that attract crowds that leave little room for observance of COVID-19 containment measures.
The four are among other leaders who have declared their interest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta when his term ends with elections slated for August 9, 2022.
Muheria further called on Kenyans to reduce the time taken to plan and conduct weddings and burials to avoid crowding.
“Our second concern continues to be the Funerals. We plead with all Kenyans through the Religious leaders, to shorten the time between death and the Burial, to reduce the number of the preparation gatherings. Please also adhere to the guidelines from the Interfaith Council in the Funerals, which include not to offer any meals at the funerals,” he urged.
The Archbishop encouraged all Kenyans to be vaccinated to protect themselves from serious illness and assist the elderly to get vaccinated, given that they may be unable to access vaccination centers far away from their homes.