FIVE MCAs REPORTEDLY ILL

Anxiety grips Embu assembly over alleged Covid-19 cases

Administration has allegedly refused to order mass testing, contact tracing or closure of the legislature.

In Summary
  • But assembly Speaker Josiah Thiriku denied knowledge of infected MCAS.
  • Source says house leadership doesn't want suspension of activities, which would mean MCAs missing sitting allowances.
Embu county assembly in session
FEAR: Embu county assembly in session
Image: REUBEN GITHINJI

Anxiety has gripped the Embu county assembly following claims that five MCAs contracted Covid-19 in three months but the administration covered up the matter.

The administration has allegedly refused to order mass testing, contact tracing or closure of the legislature.

But assembly Speaker Josiah Thiriku denied knowledge of infected MCAS.

"I am not aware of any Honourable Member who has Covid-19 in the county assembly of Embu. All those must be cheap allegations meant to tarnish the good image of the county assembly of Embu,” he told the Star in a text message.

A source in the assembly intimated that the house leadership was wary of exposing the details of the ailing MCAs to avoid a possible shutdown and suspension of activities, which would mean MCAs missing sitting allowances.

The source said a female MCA tested positive in August and quietly went into self-isolation and recovered.

A male MCA recently recovered after self-quarantine while another is currently said to be on home-based care.

Two male MCAs and a female are also alleged to be in isolation at home after they contracted the disease.

Thiriku lifted a ban on physical meetings last month, paving the way for the resumption of plenary and committee sittings on October 13.

All staff members working from home were recalled and video conferencing meetings stopped.

Several county assembly committees are in a Nairobi hotel to draft laws and reports.