COVID-19: Governor Mutua now wants Uhuru to deploy military to shut down bars

COVID-19: Governor Mutua now wants Uhuru to deploy military to shut down bars
A side-by-side image of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTOS | COURTESY

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has intimated that entertainment joints have continually disregarded the curfew as well as closing times set by the government to combat the spread of COVID-19, now urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider deploying the military to enforce the orders.

Governor Mutua, speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Thursday morning, claimed regular police have been unable to enforce curfew orders and have, instead, used the opportunity to enrich themselves, hence his advice for the military to be rolled out.

He alleged that some crooked police officers have even gone to the extent of setting up PayBill numbers through which they take bribes from curfew violators before letting them go scot free, thereby endangering the nation.

According to Mutua, protocols have to be enforced by whichever means necessary since people are dying from the coronavirus at alarming rates.

“You know the police even have a PayBill now; you’re stopped by the police at midnight or 1am, they know that you don’t have cash and if you send them an M-Pesa they can be investigated, so they’ve set up a PayBill…unatuma, unaonyesha imeingia, anakuwacha unaendelea…that’s the level of corruption we’ve come to in this country,” he said.

“The bars are open in Buruburu, Kayole, Nairobi, in the suburbs and most of the counties…they’re open until morning and nothing is done. If the police are not able to do it, then let the President roll out the military…let the military come out and go bar to bar and shut them down without any fear or favor.”

He added: “Because, at the end of the day, these are people who are dying and we have to be a country of discipline.”

The Machakos County boss also hit out at politicians for contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the country by holding large rallies and gatherings where Ministry of Health regulations are not adhered to.

Governor Mutua, while singling out Deputy President William Ruto, said the political class has set bad examples for the rest of the nation in the fight against pandemic, urging them to do better henceforth.

“It (wearing of masks) is new here in Kenyan, and then it gets complicated because we’re saying ‘wear masks’…so when we see the deputy president, for example, going to a church function with his troops of sycophantic followers not wearing masks in a public gathering, what does that tell a young person? (It tells them that) ‘if the DP is not wearing a mask, it means there’s nothing to worry about; it means that hii kitu hakuna, hii ni propaganda,'” said Mutua.

“We’ve got this recklessness, this ‘don’t care’ attitude in our leadership that has actually led to the deaths that are happening today. And so we have to take responsibility as politicians and leaders; I was also responsible, I had my listening tours, I have to admit, I was wearing my mask, I made sure to tell people to stay away, but I realized that just by virtue of being in those meetings, people will conglomerate even if you told them to stay apart. That is why I was the first one to say I’m suspending my listening tours because I realized I was actually endangering others.”

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Story By Ian Omondi
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