Fact Check: 21-day Lockdown Around the Corner?

  • Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna addresses the media at Kenyatta National Hospital on Saturday, March 14, 2020
    Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna addresses the media at Kenyatta National Hospital on Saturday, March 14, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • A letter dated March 30, purportedly from the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government went viral across various social media platforms and WhatsApp groups due to its explosive contents.

    The letter laid out in detail, instructions for county governments to develop plans for food distributions during a proposed 21-day lockdown across the country.

    However, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, on Monday evening March 30, issued a statement regarding the 'leaked' document, branding it as fake.

    Interior Cabinet Secretary chairing the meeting held between the two levels of government held March 30, 2020...jpg
    Interior Cabinet Secretary chairing the meeting held between the two levels of government held March 30, 2020...jpg
    File

    "Our attention has been drawn to a letter circulating on social media purportedly from our Ministry,

    "Members of the public are advised to regard this as utterly false," reads the statement shared by the office of CS Matiang'i.

    The fake letter started doing the rounds on various media platforms after Health Cabinet Mutahi Kagwe, during his presser on March 30, announced that the latest tests had taken the tally of patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 to 50.

    He then went on to announce a new set of stringent measures to be undertaken by the government as it stepped up its efforts to combat the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

    This could explain why the fake letter went viral, as it coincided with the announcement of new measures.

    "The National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NCDICC) in its meeting of March 24, 2020, directed the State Department of Devolution to develop plans for food distribution for possible 21 days lockdown,

    "The State Department of Devolution plans to undertake supply of food ration to various Sub locations based on the number of persons affected," reads a section of the fake letter.

    However, CS Kagwe laid out the new measures during his press briefing as: a new directive to employers to allow their employees to leave work at 4 p.m. and an instruction that Nairobi residents avoid traveling upcountry.

    The latter directive was undertaken after it was announced that the Kenyan capital was currently ranked 1st in terms of patients who have tested positive for Covid-19, a figure that stood at 37 as at March 30, 2020.

    "We are giving an advisory that we are encouraging those who stay in Nairobi against travelling upcountry during this period," stated Kagwe.

    The fake letter that went viral on March 30, 2020.
    The fake letter that went viral on March 30, 2020.
    Twitter