President Uhuru is in total shock after it emerged that three of his cabinet secretaries tested positive of coronavirus and are now in self isolation. Uhuru has moved with speed and burned his cabinet members from touring the counties.
The travel ban, which will be in force for two weeks, “The president ordered that the trips be stopped for 14 days as part of efforts to tame spread of the disease, which is alarming for now,” said a reliable source who requested anonymity.
Sources said the directive was informed by the fact that the ministers travel with entourages that include principal secretaries and other techincal staff in the various State agencies. The tours also draw large crowds that puts citizens at risk.
Covid-19 infections are on the rise with Nairobi accounting for more than half of the cases – 7,744 out of 13,353 – recorded by Monday.
The government is concerned about rising community transmission, especially in rural areas.
Some of the CSs affected by the travel ban include Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Ukur Yatani (National Treasury) and Adan Mohamed (Regional Integration).
They were to visit Marsabit, Isiolo and Moyale from today to Friday, but the trip has been cancelled.
Their colleagues who were in western Kenya have also been forced to cut short their visit. These are Peter Munya (Agriculture), John Munyes (Mining), James Macharia (Transport) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution).
They were accompanied by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and local governors.
The Cabinet secretaries were to be joined by Kagwe yesterday in Busia on a visit to Alupe University. They were also expected to commission the Busia-Malaba road and tour other projects before visiting Trans Nzoia County.
The pandemic has severely disrupted government operations despite efforts to regain a sense of normalcy.
It also emerged that members of the Executive have been ordered to work from home and only go to the office when it is ‘absolutely necessary’.
Another official said the Executive is focusing on a meeting called by President Kenyatta this Friday to assess counties’ preparedness and evaluate the overall national government’s response and capacity to handle the pandemic.
Following the relaxation of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the country has witnessed a surge in the number of positive cases recorded in the past two weeks.
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said on Monday that government employees were not following regulations contained in four circulars issued on March 17, March 26, April 23 and April 29 on how to avoid contracting the disease.
“It has, however, been noted with a lot of concern that public servants have not strictly complied with the guidelines and measures stipulated in the above circulars thereby exposing themselves, colleagues and their families to the risk of Covid-19 infection and fatalities,” he said.
Kinyua ordered social and physical distancing rules set at 1.5 metres to be observed in the workplaces as well as reducing the number of walk-in visitors whose details should be recorded.