DP Ruto allies attempt to explain why he missed the COVID-19 conference

DP Ruto allies attempt to explain why he missed the COVID-19 conference
DP Ruto's empty seat during the COVID conference had to be removed after the DP failed to show up at the KICC. Photo: Citizen TV

On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta was set to issue new guidelines on COVID-19 at the KICC.

All plans had been laid out and organisers had expected Deputy President William Ruto to usher his boss to the podium.

However, this was not to be, with DP Ruto conspicuously missing from the highly publicised event.

His designated sitting position was empty, with those who attended the conference saying his seat had been moved after it became apparent he would not show up.

Faced with the new challenge, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i rose to the occasion, welcoming his boss to make the much-awaited address.

“It is now my distinct pleasure and honour to request you to stand up as we welcome his excellency the president to speak to us and bring this meeting to an end,” CS Matiang’i said.

DP Ruto’s lieutenants scoffed at the conference, with Kericho Senator Araon Cheruiyot saying it was hypocritical to invite the DP yet he had never been invited to any COVID-19 response meeting in the past.

“Let’s stop the hypocrisy. If WSR’s contribution counted, how comes he has never been invited to any GOK Covid response meeting ? Now you want him to join the Covid millionaires in sharing their looting success!! No to sanitizing the Kemsa scammers,” Cheruiyot wrote on Twitter.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa joined the fray too, saying Ruto had been deliberately sidelined from previous’ meetings.

He claimed the government was attempting to use the DP to sanitize the “KEMSA filth”.

Ruto had cut a lone figure in April when he convened a press statement to address the COVID-19 situation in the country, appearing to regurgitate what had already been communicated to the public.

During the Monday address to the Nation, President Kenyatta issued a smattering of new guidelines that will usher Kenya into the new normal.

The daily dusk-to-dawn curfew was extended for a further 60 days with the time being adjusted from 9pm to 11pm.

The curfew will lapse at 4am daily.

The new directives also saw the reopening of bars, with President Kenyatta directing all bars to be closing by 10pm.

The new guidelines will also see church gatherings hold up to a third of their normal capacity.

Places of worship will  be required to adhere to all the applicable guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.

At the same time, the number of people attending ceremonies such as funerals and weddings has also been reviewed upwards from 100 people to 200.

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Story By Sam Ogina
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