President Uhuru Kenyatta says his key priority is the health of Kenyans in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, and not unlocking an economy which will take a beating — health-wise — after he grants such a “freedom”.
Addressing the Nation from State House-Nairobi on Saturday, June 6, the president said he had seen a few memes on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter urging him to lift the curfew and travel restrictions, given “Kenyans are suffering economically by the bans”.
The Head of State, however, said he wasn’t moved because he is “not ready to gamble with the lives of Kenyans”.
“My intention is not to hurt Kenyans. Personally, I thought we would be able to open up the country in a more liberal manner than we did today. However, it is only a fool who does not listen to experts’ advice. Our experts told me that we would be risking Kenyans’ lives if we lift the restrictions so soon.
“Let us, as a Government, find new ways of helping those gravely affected by the coronavirus crisis, [but not open up the country based on human rationale, and not experts’ advice].
“I saw the memes that you posted on social media urging me to lift the restrictions. Some online users even dubbed June 6, 2020 as the ‘Freedom Day’, others referred to it as the ‘Independence Day’.
“These restrictions are not in any way related to oppression, which necessitate a call for independence. This disease is a matter of life and death. We are not imposing these directives to hurt anyone economically; we are putting in place these rules to protect the lives of Kenyans.
“I would rather you, as a Kenyan, be alive and enjoy the said-freedom that you are looking for, than grant you the so-called freedom, which you’ll only enjoy for a day, then die shortly thereafter. A freedom that leads to death is meaningless. There shall come a time when all of you will be free to enjoy life.”