Kenya: You Must Walk the Talk, Govt Tells Leaders After Atwoli Convened Huge Meeting

Nairobi — The government has warned leaders operating with impunity after dozens convened in Kajiado, in total disregard of the COVID-19 containment measures.

The meeting in Kajiado was convened by COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli at his residence where he invited Luhya leaders in elective positions and those in government-including Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

It was the subject discussions on social media on Saturday, with many accusing the government of double-speak by failing to stop such meetings.

Many said police were only arresting ordinary Kenyans while allowing leaders to break public health regulations at will, despite the spike in positive cases which rose to 1,888 on Saturday after 143 cases were detected.

"It is disturbing and disheartening to observe from time to time the casual manner in which some of us in leadership positions practice the containment measures," said Rashid Aman, a Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Health.

He appealed to the leaders to lead by example in the fight against COVID-19.

"As leaders, it is of crucial importance that we walk the talk, we must lead by example. It does not help if we continue to appeal to our people to wear masks in public places yet some of us as leaders' we do not do the same," he said.

He was non-committal on whether action will be taken against Atwoli and leaders who attended the Friday meeting at his residence.

"I would not want to respond to that because we have sectors that are in charge of implementing such measures," he said Saturday, in response to a question from a journalist during a media briefing on COVID-19.

Most of the leaders who attended the meeting in Kajiado County, outside the capital Nairobi which is one of the counties with a cessation of movement for recording high virus numbers.

Aman stressed that the success in the fight against the virus will be pegged on the input by members of the public.

"People must play their part in the campaign and their part is to cooperate and take responsibility given the fact that a majority of Kenyans might be carrying the virus and are unaware of it," he said.

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