Uhuru bans sport, attends rally – Nairobi News
President Uhuru Kenyatta appeared to violate his own Covid-19 containment measures by honoring the ARC Equator rally in Naivasha.
The head of state’s decision to honor this event comes three weeks after announcing a general and indefinite ban on all sporting activities in the country.
At the time, President Kenyatta justified the ban, which left thousands of athletes without a source of income, pointing to it as one of the means to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
But then the president appeared to read another script on Saturday.
On his way to the NYS fainting in Gilgil, President Kenyatta made a brief stopover at the Soysambu Conservancy in Naivasha where he joined motorsport stakeholders led by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed at one competitive stages of the ongoing ARC Equator Rally, ”explained a statement on State House Kenya’s Facebook page.
“The motorsport event, which has attracted 33 drivers including State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, is being held as a test of the 2021 WRC Safari rally scheduled for June.”
In some of the photos accompanying this statement, President Kenyatta, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and red hat, was spotted after the race alongside Mohamed and sportsman PS Joe Okudo.
No fans were allowed to participate in the event, but a number of Kenyans on social media questioned what criteria were used to authorize this sporting event as thousands of athletes were arrested and threatened with arrest for training.
“Why these double standards Mr. President?” No sporting activity was your order and here you are attending a safari rally? Asked a Kenyan in the comments section.
“What sporting activities did the president ban during his last State of the Nation address?” asked another?
“Our president is leading the country to break the same rules he has set,” wrote another.
President Kenyatta’s appearance at the event also days after Cabinet Secretary of Health Mutahi Kagwe dashed hopes of resuming sporting activities in the near future.
“There is a lot of pressure on the government to open up certain sectors, but we have to be guided by science and facts rather than sentiment,” he said.
Nairobi News could not immediately establish whether this event had received special permission from the government to take place.