A Nairobi-based pastor has postponed his wedding that was slated for Saturday, March 28, in obedience to the government directive banning public gatherings in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The pastor, Mr. Bernard Muchuri Muthamia, was set to wed his bride, Ms Rachel Wambui, in a huge gathering in which they had invited about 500 people.
Speaking to K24 Digital on Monday, Mr. Muthamia, who preaches at the Kawangware Full Gospel Church of Kenya (Faith Family Chapel), said their wedding guests were to come from as far as Naivasha, Gilgil and Meru.
He announced the wedding postponement on his Facebook account after consultations with religious leaders.
“We want to thank you for your love, support and every deed to see that our wedding day was successful this Saturday 28th March, but due to the directives given by the government of Kenya yesterday that no public gathering of more than 20 people, bearing in mind that all of you would wish that we celebrate the big day together and as per now it’s impossible, with the help of our religious leaders we have decided to postpone the wedding day until a day that we shall let you know,” Mr. Muthamia said on Monday.
His cancellation will be one of many in the country as the national government banned public gatherings, including weddings, funerals, church services, disco matangas and other social events.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government would strictly enforce the directive because previous such measures to avoid gatherings, including weddings and funerals, were largely ignored.
“We’ve told people not to go into gatherings but some of them have decided they must continue to do so,” he said in a press briefing on Sunday.
The CS, while announcing the country had confirmed eight more coronavirus cases, warned that Kenyans must learn from Italy, which he said has borne the brunt of the virus because of initial defiance to social distancing directives.
The new directive comes even as Christians across the country on Sunday felt the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as most were locked out of their places of worship and others ejected by police officers.
Others attended church from the comfort of their houses as their pastors live streamed services online while others were beamed on TV and radio.
However, in some parts of the country, including Nairobi, Kiambu and Kisii counties, some followers defied the government directive and turned up in large numbers to worship, attracting criticism from Kenyans, especially on digital platforms.
For the defiant ones, some faithful were locked out of their churches, with police in Mombasa disrupting worship activities.
Going forward, Kenyans must change their habits if the country is to beat the coronavirus disease that has ravaged Italy, Spain and China leaving thousands dead in its wake.