All Options Are on Our Cards - Ruto as Allies Call for Lockdown

  • Deputy President William Ruto at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
    Deputy President William Ruto at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
    The Standard
  • Deputy President William Ruto responded to Kenyans who mistook him for a shamba boy tilling a cabbage garden and revealed his whereabouts after many of them wondered whether he was contributing towards the fight against Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

    Ruto, on Saturday, April 4, through his social media pages, also outlined how he was assisting President Uhuru Kenyata in managing the disease outbreak, amid calls for a lockdown from his allies and the head of state's staunch supporters.

    On Friday, April 3, a photo of Ruto's look-alike went viral, as Kenyans wondered why the DP would take a backhand approach in managing the pandemic, with some recalling his previous alleged woes with Kenyatta that had many intimate that the duo's relationship was beyond repair.

    Deputy President William Ruto's look alike at an unidentified farm on Thursday, April 2, 2020
    Deputy President William Ruto's look alike at an unidentified farm on Thursday, April 2, 2020
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    "Uhuru, our teams and I are working on practical strategies to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. All options are on our cards. There should be no panic as we will pull through.

    Let us comply with advisories as reviewed timeously. So, I am not tending to cabbages in Sugoi (Uasin Gishu County). Ignore all other photo's too," Ruto disclosed.

    Apart from a lockdown, among other measures, Ruto touched on before, was a grand plan to convert 940 public schools to emergency health centres to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

    The DP on Monday, March 30, issued his statement following the March 30 announcement by the Ministry of Health Director-General Patrick Amoth, that initial projections showed the total number of coronavirus cases in Kenya could rise to 10,000 by the end of April 2020.

    "The Government of Kenya has directed the ministry of education to work with all county govt's to identify at least 20 boarding schools per county to be prepared/equipped for use as health facilities as part of Covid-19 preparedness. The health ministry will work with governors to ensure it is done as soon as possible," reads a section of DP Ruto's statement.

    On  Monday, March 30, Nyali MP Mohamed Ali (Jicho Pevu), a close confidant of the DP called for a lockdown, revealing that he would push for the creation of a special kitty to help Kenyans access food and cash for basic necessities during the pandemic. He also urged the government to halt evictions of Kenyans by their landlords over rent arrears during the pandemic.

    "Additionally, the need for protective measures to guard against the eviction of Kenyans occasioned by delay in payment of rent until the pandemic is over cannot be overstated," Ali wrote.

    Mohammed Ali when he issued bursary cheques to needy students in Nyali on February 22
    Mohammed Ali when he issued bursary cheques to needy students in Nyali on February 22, 2020
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    Muranga senator Irungu Kang'ata had also earlier asked the president to provide Kenyans with money if they were to stay at home. Speaking on Wednesday, March 25 the senator stated that the measure would cushion the largest part of the economy currently the informal sector. 

    "Even as we push people to lockdown that they stay home, we must remember that most people live hand to mouth," Kang'ata stated. 

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe while addressing the nation on Saturday, March 28, however, revealed that Kenya was yet to enforce a lockdown as it was not necessarily the solution and the implications would be heavily felt by the public.

    "It is very interesting that people are asking for lockdown and they are unable to follow a curfew, I think it is very important for us to understand what is the meaning of a lockdown.

    "What would a lockdown look like because if we don't address this issue of a lockdown and what it looks like it is very easy to throw it around and say why isn't Kenya locking down the way that we hear other countries are locking down," Kagwe stated. 

    Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata addresses residents during a free medical camp in Kangema, Murang'a County, on June 26, 2017
    Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata addresses residents during a free medical camp in Kangema, Murang'a County, on June 26, 2017
    Daily Nation