The government through Nyanza Regional Commissioner Magu Mutindika has okayed an event set to be presided by ODM leader Raila Odinga in Oyugis, Homa Bay County, despite a ban on all political gatherings in the country for the next 60 days.
Odinga is set to lead a consultative delegates meeting at the Sikri Vocational Training Institute in Oyugis. Following the President’s directive, many expected the meeting to be cancelled, but, instead, the government has allowed it to progress as scheduled.
Issuing an update on Thursday morning, Commissioner Mutindika noted that 700 people will be allowed at the Sikri meeting.
He further noted that adequate security has been provided to ensure everything moves as planned.
“We have agreed we’ll have 700 delegates into the meeting… We expect the party officials and organisers of the event to impress upon the delegates to strict to the Covid-19 protocols… We have also provided adequate security arrangement so that as the meeting is going on, we are able to make sure that the Covid-19 protocols are adhered to.
“Secondly, I have directed all County Commissioners and the county security teams within the region, from tomorrow all gatherings must adhere to the Covid protocols and if there is any that do not conform to that, individual security teams will take personal responsibility. We must ake sure that all this is done because currently in region we are losing a lot of lives,” he said.
Meanwhile, ODM has defended its move to continue with the event despite the ban, noting that the extension announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, came after all plans had been put in place. The party has since postponed a similar event scheduled in Kakamega on Friday, August 20, 2021.
On Wednesday, President Kenyatta extended a ban on public gathering and political events for another 60 days citing a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.
The decision to allow the event to proceed has not augured well with netizens, who have called out the government for double standards when implementing Covid protocols.
Popular comedian and media personality Daniel Ndambuki has slammed the government for cancelling entertainment events, but allowing political gatherings.
“Advertise that comedy is back authorities tell you that Delta is real and lethal… Politicians want to sell an agenda and suddenly crowds and Delta are a non-issue,” he said.
Sourced from Nairobi Leo