- Daily Nation
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo found herself in trouble during a session with the National Assembly Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs.
The committee chaired by Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito questioned Omamo on the continued stay of the 100 Kenyan students marooned in Wuhan, China and why they had not been flown back to the country despite the continued spread of the deadly COVID19 Coronavirus.
“I don’t have the capacity and knowledge to go into the intricacies of the disease,” remarked Omamo.
Her statement did not sit well with the committee members, which triggered Belgut MP Nelson Koech heavily criticise the CS.Belgut MP Nelson Koech during a committee session in Parliament on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
“I have sat here listening painfully to the CS of Foreign Affairs giving underwhelming and sickening answers to this committee,” remarked Koech.
“I am sorry that you are finding my answers to be underwhelming. I don’t know what language to use to reveal how the government is committed to tackling this [coronavirus] issue. Let us not lose hope, let us handle this issue [head-on],” replied Omamo.
The CS further infuriated some of the lawmakers with her response when questioned on whether Kenya's Ambassador to China, Sarah Serem, had resigned due to her inability to handle the matter.
Her response was that “Serem has a really caring nature, and I thank her. Serem loves children and students.”
The CS who was recently moved to the Foreign Affairs docket also failed to state whether the 100 Kenyans in China would be evacuated at the government’s expense.
In response to this, Omamo indicated that Serem was maintaining close communication with every Kenyan in the country.
The CS also claimed that an open social media platform for interaction between the students and the Chinese government officials for “psychological help” had been created.
“Serem continues to speak to each and every Kenyan in China, and she has assured them of the Kenyan government’s full support.
“We remain focused on the welfare of the Kenyan students stuck in Wuhan, and we have to deal with them in a sensitive way. We will continue giving them close attention and monitor their progress on a daily basis,” remarked Omamo.
The onslaught on Omamo continued with other members in the committee remaining unconvinced by the CS’s plans.
On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, a China Southern Airlines plane arrived at JKIA carrying 239 passengers attracting a backlash from many Kenyans.Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and Defence CS Monica Juma during the Hand Over Ceremony at Defence Headquarters on Thursday 23rd January 2020.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, the passengers had been screened and were requested to observe a 14-day self-quarantine.
“The cabinet ad hoc committee and the various agencies involved are constantly monitoring and evaluating the unfolding situation in Wuhan city, within the country and around the world with a view to making a determination regarding the appropriate response…” - Raychelle OmamoPosted by Citizen TV Kenya on Thursday, 27 February 2020
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