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Kenya: We Shall Defend Peace, Rift Valley Lawmakers Proclaim Ahead of BBI Rally

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Nairobi — Leaders drawn from the Rift Valley have said they will put a strong fight to uphold peaceful coexistence among communities in the region a head of a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally set to be held in Nakuru on March 21.

The leaders among them Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said they will use the opportunity to celebrate peaceful coexistence that that has been experienced in the region since President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto inked a unity deal in 2013.

“We will defend peace by all means necessary,” Kihika told news reporters.

The leaders vowed that they will not allow any disrespect and name calling, synonymous with past BBI rallies expect the Meru forum on February 29, at the Nakuru rally.

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Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri called on political leaders to allow the local people to air their views and recommendations urging everybody else from outside the region to attend the rally as a guest.

He insisted that Rift valley is a fragile region with people from different cultures whose peace cannot be tampered with for selfish political ends.

The eighth and second last BBI rally which brings together 10 counties from Rift valley region will be held next week at Afraha Stadium.

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Uganda pursues truckers who escaped after positive tests

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DAILY MONITOR

By DAILY MONITOR
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Uganda’s Ministry of Health says it has intensified the search for contacts of the seven truck drivers with Covid-19 who were found in Ndeeba, a city suburb, on Saturday night.

The National Covid-19 Response Incident Commander Ateka Kagirita told Daily Monitor Monday that the truck drivers had escaped into the community after finding out their status.

Dr Kagirita said the truckers are among the 25 drivers who previously disappeared into the community after they tested positive at Elegu and Malaba border posts.

“The 24-hour operation is ongoing to hunt down all the truck drivers who escaped into the community after testing positive. We are working day and night to get who they got into contact with, establish where they slept to ensure there is no positive case in the community,” he said.

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Asked whether any action will be taken against the drivers for disappearing into the communities, aware that they could spread the disease, Dr Kagirita said he would give details later.

The Uganda Professional Drivers Network (UPDN) revealed that the Saturday night development, which they attributed to their intervention to help the government to come up with a more comprehensive plan to manage the truck drivers.

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UPDN Executive Director Ndugu Omogo said the seven are Ugandan, Kenyan and Tanzanian nationals.

“Some of them have been in the community for more than a week. Many of them ran away because there is no existing case management system. Many of them think the disease doesn’t exist and that the government just wants to steal money,” he said.

Mr Omogo explained that the drivers believe the disease is a hoax because they have not been adequately sensitised about it.

He added that many of them run away because they are freelance drivers who do not have contracts with the truck owners and when they are arrested and quarantined for 14 days, they are certain of losing jobs.

“100 per cent of the drivers who have tested positive are freelance. They do not have jobs. The only way they get money is when they return the trucks. Nobody accepts them in the community when they test positive,” he said.

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Kenya: Wrong Contact Details Hurt Efforts to Trace Suspected Cases

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Kenyans are on the spot for providing wrong contacts during Covid-19 testing, hampering efforts to trace suspected cases.

During a press conference Sunday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said the trend is endangering lives.

“Once the results are out, such individuals become unavailable. This is serious considering some of them have tested positive and we are unable to trace them,” he said.

Dr Aman called on those who are being tested to provide the correct information. He said a mobile laboratory is being set up in Namanga for truck drivers.

“We are hoping the turnaround time is going to be reduced,” Dr Aman said, adding that the government had established holding facilities for truckers as they wait for their results.

He said the Health ministry is collaborating with county commissioners to ensure truckers do not mingle with the community, to reduce the rate of virus transmission.

Dr Aman reiterated that the government will meet costs of treatment and quarantine. “It is a concern for the people because most shy away when they hear that costs are their own,” he said.

OBEY GUIDELINES

The CAS warned Kenyans who are not adhering to guidelines, saying containment measures can only be eased depending on their behaviour.

“I can assure you, just like the President said yesterday, the partial lockdown measures would not go on longer than necessary, and will be reviewed if Kenyans follow the containment measures in order to reduce the number of infections,” he said.