Kenya: COVID-19 - Marimanti MCA Arrested While Distributing Masks

Tailors sew masks at Mukiria Technical Training Institute.

Police arrested Marimanti MCA Susan Ngugi Mwindu on Tuesday after finding her distributing face masks in Kathwana town, Tharaka-Nithi County.

Officers led by Igambang'ombe Deputy County Commissioner Fred Masinjila took her Chuka Police Station, accusing her of defying the rule against public gatherings as part of efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to the Nation, Mr Masinjila said the ward representative would be taken to a Chuka court on Wednesday and charged with contravening the Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19) Rules, 2020 by convening a public gathering.

"The members of public who gathered to receive the masks did not observe the mandatory social distance and did not have masks," he said.

He added that the politician had not consulted the administration before distributing her donations to the public "as per the guidelines".

"She must be arraigned because if we allow politicians to go round giving their donations without following the rules, many people will contract the virus2"

POLITICS

The MCA, who is eyeing the county's women representative position come the 2022 general election, has been donating face masks, soap and sanitisers in the three constituencies - Maara, Chuka/Igambang'ombe and Tharaka.

Kathwana residents who receive the face masks claimed the arrest was politically motivated and urged security officers to consider her release release.

"We sympathise with the MCA because she is the only leader in the county who has volunteered to donate masks to those who can't afford to buy them," said John Kimathi.

Mary Muthoni said politicians in other counties had been making donations to residents yet none of them had been arrested.

Last week, Tharaka-Nithi County Commissioner Beverly Opwora said all donations must go through her office.

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