A Murang’a politician has come out to defend himself after he was accused of organising a Covid-19 vaccination drive contravening government’s guidelines.
Edward Muriu, a lawyer who is eyeing the Gatanga parliamentary seat, has come under scrutiny for organising a vaccination exercise in the sub-county over the weekend without following the right procedure.
Muriu said he had been receiving many appeals from the residents requesting that he help them get the Covid- 19 vaccine because many of them were unable to get the jab at the local facilities and that the event in question was out of good will.
“There has been an extensive outcry from the residents that they are facing challenges getting the jab and I made personal efforts to bring it to them,” he said.
Muriu said Gatanga is one of the sub counties in Murang’a which has been hard hit by the pandemic and he was out complementing government’s efforts to fight the disease adding that his actions should not be viewed as ill intended,
The politician further said that the vaccination exercise was aimed at assisting the elderly and the physically challenged people get jab.
“We are losing many people to Covid-19, businesses have been closed down, and families are fundraising for medical bills, we are tired of burying our people,” he stated.
Muriu stated that the vaccines were acquired from Ruai Family hospital which is one of the selected facilities to offer the vaccine. “The medical officers who conducted the exercise are the same ones who have been authorised to handle the vaccine,” he said.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board has since revoked the operating license for the Ruai Family hospital for being implicated in the unsanctioned exercise.
Through a letter done by the board’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yumbia, Ruai Family Hospital was accused of contravening the rules and regulations governing Covid-19 management by diverting the vaccine meant for use at the hospital under unclear circumstances.
The officer further said conducting the vaccination in an uncontrolled environment was unacceptable.
Muriu, however, sought to absolve the hospital from the blame saying the medics were offering services to the community.
“Don’t close down the hospital because its staff came out to help the poor people down here, it was a service to humanity,” he remarked.
Muriu said that he reads malice by his political opponents and the government due to his ties with the UDA party which is affiliated with the deputy president.
“I am the secretary in the UDA party but we should not politicise such a sensitive matter,” he added.
Murang’a County Commissioner Fredrick Ndunga stated that the matter is under investigation and all those involved have been summoned to record statements with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
“We want to know where the vaccines came from because no private entities or individuals are allowed to be in their possession,” he said.
The area assistant chief where the exercise took place has been interdicted and disciplinary measures shall be taken against others who took place in the exercise.
Ndunga also cautioned politicians against adopting such trends saying vaccination is the responsibility of the government and interfering shall land them in trouble.
Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe earlier in the week issued a warning to politicians against politicising Covid-19 vaccination exercise for their own political gains insisting that vaccination should only be conducted in government designated facilities.