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Hypocrisy? Atwoli hosts 60 politicians as joggers nabbed over social distancing

Kenyans have been left livid after the Central Organisation of Trade unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli hosted nearly 60 politicians at his Ildamat home in Kajiado County on the day 40 joggers were arrested and charged in a Kisumu court for violating social distancing rules.

What got attention was how, after the meeting, the leaders treated themselves to good times and merrymaking with a video clip being shared on social media showing the MPs dancing and embracing each other at such times when protocols as social distancing and debarment of public gatherings are being emphasized to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health protocol also bars any gathering of more than 15 people. Also, Atwoli’s home is outside the Nairobi metropolis. He, however, reportedly told the gathering that all they needed to do was to tell the security team manning the roadblock that they were heading to Atwoli’s home to be allowed to pass.

Minors among them

As this was happening, 40 joggers were arrested on the streets of Milimani Estate in Kisumu while others were rounded up in Tom Mboya Estate on Friday morning. There were minors among them.

Those arrested included 29 adults and 9 children aged between eight and 17 years and were arraigned in court dressed in their fitness training gear where they were charged with contravention of provision control of suppression of Covid-19 directives issued by the Cabinet Secretary of Health pursuant to Section 36 as read with section 164 of the Public Health Act.

The adults were all found guilty of not keeping social distance of 1.5 metres apart while doing physical exercises and that they contravened government directives on prevention and control of Covid-19. They were fined Sh1,000.

The minors were discharged.

Senator Kipchumba Murkomen likened the situation at Atwoli’s home to that of a bar where revellers leisurely move about not worrying about anything.

“If you can open the bars then we can open churches. Please tuwache Ukora. Open the CHURCHES!,” he captioned a video clip he shared with his followers.

Kenyans also questioned the apparent double-standards.