In today’s edition of the daily COVID-19 pressers delivered by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe at Afya House, Nairobi, it was confirmed that Kenya has lost two more Coronavirus patients bringing the total number of casualties in the country to three.
At some point during the Thursday briefing, a noticeably irritated Kagwe strongly condemned those who branded the recovery of two victims (Brenda Cherotich and Brian Orinda) unveiled yesterday as a PR exercise; insisting the government would have no business doing such.
He said the “mockery” was “archaic” and “retrogressive”, further directing state agencies like the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to immediately arrest the individuals and ensure they are put to trial.
Kagwe’s remarks were in response to a brewing social media storm sparked by Kenyans who took it up to themselves to critically analyze the stories shared by the two recovered patients and, in the process, exposed numerous irregularities and inconsistencies in their narratives.
“Instead of reenergizing and raising alert efforts, a section of Kenyans have branded this a PR exercise. Why would a government in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) decide to make a PR exercise with two innocent Kenyans? It is archaic and retrogressive. I condemn in the strongest terms in any person who does so. I appeal to security agencies to arrest these social media users,” – Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe
Reacting to Kagwe’s conspicuous statement, Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi has sent out a warning to the Uhuru’s man in charge of the health docket that he should not at any point expect citizens to simply believe anything the government says, further advising him that attempting to suppress their views and speculations on matters Coronavirus is a losing battle that he shouldn’t wish to engage himself in.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, no one trusts government. Not even President Ronald Reagan. Do not therefore, suppress critical thinking and speech when the people of Kenya want substantiation on any issue Covid-19. This is a battle you will lose with shame. Abandon it in good time.
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) April 2, 2020
In agreement with the lawyer’s sentiments, netizens flocked under the Twitter post to echo his powerful words; urging CS Kagwe to instantly heed them and desist silencing Kenyans who are closely monitoring the state’s handling of the pandemic.
We’re working from home…what we can do right now is watching the government, on a slight slip we remind them to get on track. We won’t relent!! VIVA!
— Amicus 🇰🇪 (@DanielMotari3) April 2, 2020
You simplified what I was unable to tweet in under 140 characters.
— I’m Safe (@polycarp_etyang) April 2, 2020
Kagwe might misdirect energy of fighting Corona on Kenyans. Power gets into peoples heads so quickly in Africa
— Sherehe (@yiegon) April 2, 2020
He should reserve a lot of his energy for the thinking on new ideas in curbing the spread,he is so defensive of the government,which I think will unpopularized him so much
— Mseveniskenyan friend (@RonohErick6) April 2, 2020
Havi, tell them again/// you cannot suppress intelligence…
— Kathungu Kathungu (@KathunguK) April 2, 2020
I thought he was busy, but now I realize when he is not reading the list of infections and deaths, he is online reading peoples comments. Take life easy CS Mutahi Kagwe don’t react…
— Mbogo Victor David (@MVicdave) April 2, 2020
imagine he is trying to scare the tax payers, the people he serves, our taxes pay his salary. This is a pandemic, instead of them taking Kenyas please and questions seriously, we are treated like enemies? since when are tax payers enemies, since when ?
— YrreK M. (@YrrekIrutom) April 2, 2020
Best advice. Whatever credibility he had earned from Kenyans by handling the pandemic will go down the drain by wanting to gag Kenyans. Retreat Mutahi.
— Titus Kimeu (@MuthusiKimeu) April 2, 2020
In the last 24 hours, 662 people in Kenya have been tested for the Coronavirus and 29 were positive. Among the 29, one is from Congo and the rest are Kenyans.
Earlier today, CS Kagewe said that the 2050 people in quarantine will be tested from now henceforth and he said he is afraid the number of positive cases will grow exponentially.
Due to the rapid rise in positive cases, Kagwe has instructed the public to start wearing masks whenever they board matatus, motorbikes or tuk-tuks.
He also discouraged people from travelling upcountry saying it is now time for people to stay where they are.