The ongoing Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) consultative rallies may not proceed as planned, after the government on Friday banned all public rallies around the country.
This was after the first positive case of the deadly Coronavirus infection was confirmed in Kenya, the victim being a 27-year-old Kenyan who flew into the country from the US on Mar. 5.
In response, Health CS, Mutahi Kagwe, during a press conference, announced that no public gatherings would be allowed in the country, except church services, which would be allowed on condition that congregants were provided with hand sanitizer during worship sessions.
So far, six BBI rallies, graced by ODM leader Raila Odinga, have been held across the country in Mombasa, Kitui, Meru, Garissa, Kakamega, and Kisii counties.
BREAKING: Mutahi Kagwe: Ministry of health has confirmed the first coronavirus case in Kenya. The Kenyan citizen returning from the US to Nairobi via London on 5th March. She was confirmed positive by the national influenza lab. However, the patient is stable pic.twitter.com/zvcIqywu4U
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) March 13, 2020
Another rally was set for Mar. 21 in Nakuru, after a similar meeting, that was set to be held in Deputy President William Ruto’s Eldoret stronghold, was canceled over fears of violent altercations between Ruto’s supporters and pro-BBI citizens.
Already, anti-BBI politicians have sent a stern warning to Odinga and his rally organizing team over the Nakuru rally, asserting that they would not allow visitors to host the event.
Speaking at Parliament buildings on Thursday, the politicians, led by Elgeyo-Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, promised to ensure that the meeting would be owned by Rift Valley residents, warning visitors against insulting Rift Valley leaders during the rally.
“All Kenyans are welcome to Nakuru and as we have said, we want the Nakuru rally to be different from others and very inclusive. Nakuru is a small town in Kenya. If you are coming to bring any insults or abuses we shall not allow you,” Kihika stated.
Initially, the Rift Valley rally was to be held on Feb. 8, but was postponed to allow the country mourn the late former president Daniel Moi.