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Do not misuse the essential service privilege, government officers told

The  Busia County  Commissioner, Joseph Kanyiri briefing the team on state of preparedness towards the control of the COVID 19 in the area. Photo by KNA.
The  Busia Governor, Sospeter  Ojaamong addressing the team on Tuesday April 21, 2020. Pho to by KNA.

Government  officers  entrusted with the provision of essential services have been warned against misusing the privilege or government resources.

Speaking during a visit to Busia One-Stop-Border Post (OSBP) on Tuesday, the Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Hussein Dado noted that a section of officers continued to “use” the privilege and government resources even when they were not on duty.

He reminded them that the essential services they were offering did not mean they could abuse the privileges.

On curfew and lockdown, Dado advised Kenyans to use the time to bond with their families adding that some parents have been delegating their responsibilities to the house helps. “Let’s get used to our families and help each other at home,” he said

The CAS advised Kenyans to use hand gloves while shopping at the super markets or wash their hands immediately after shopping noting, “with the tendency of people picking items, checking and returning them to the shelves, the virus can easily spread,’ he said.

Dado urged the National Government Administration officers to work closely with the Nyumba Kumi leaders to ensure that Ugandan nationals do not cross over to the country.

“Diplomacy is reciprocal,” he said, adding that if Ugandan leadership has denied Kenyans entry into their country, then Kenyans should also do the same.

He lauded the Multi-agency team for the good work despite the challenges being encountered at the border.

The  Transport CAS, Chris Obure noted that infrastructural works at Malaba One-Stop-Border Post have not been completed.

Obure stated that the second lane for access to the border had not been completed adding that the Ministry will fast rack the ongoing works so that it is completed by June this year.

He said that funds for establishing dual carriage at Busia One Stop Border Post will be included in the Ministry’s budget.

Health CAS Dr. Rashid Aman urged both County and National government officers to work as a team with a view to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Aman noted that the process of containing the virus was a major challenge even at the National level, adding that the PPEs and masks have been a global problem.

“We have however tried to bring in as much as we can through donations and distributed the same to counties,’ he said adding that local industries are being encouraged to manufacture some of the required items.

He expressed confidence that the country will be able to provide all the necessary items required for the fight against the pandemic.

“I want you to adequately prepare in terms of your facilities now that this is one of the high risk areas,’ he said adding that more focus should be laid on staff training.

The CAS at the same time stated that there is need to test people moving into and outside the country.

The  Busia Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong urged the team from the National government to consider the county as high risk area.

He at the same time said there should be concerted efforts between the County and National government on how to address the challenge of truck drivers.

“We have already bought a parcel for construction of a trailer park and what we need is funding,’ he said.

The  Busia County Commissioner (CC), Joseph Kanyiri said that truck snarl up was a major challenge in the town due to the narrow road to the border.

Kanyiri  attributed the situation to the fact that the neighbouring country of Uganda is carrying out both screening and testing for COVID 19 as opposed to Kenya which does only screening.

“We have been engaging them on how best to handle this situation and how to handle those who go to Uganda through the porous border,’ he said adding that some Kenyans had homes on both sides.

He appealed to the Ministry of foreign affairs to intervene and ensure that Kenyans being held in Uganda are released.

The team also visited Malaba border where they found a 30 kilometre traffic snarl up along Malaba-Bungoma highway.

By  Salome Alwanda

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