Did Uhuru commit a traffic offence over Christmas?
Kenyans have expressed anger at President Uhuru Kenyatta after watching a video footage posted online that showed him driving a vehicle without wearing a seat belt.
In the footage, President Kenyatta is seen entering a car and driving to his rural home in Gatundu, Kiambu County, without wearing a seat belt.
The video, which is a promo of an interview with Citizen TV anchor-cum-reporter Jacque Maribe, has been shared widely on social media.
Kenyans were shocked by the President’s poor judgment to drive a vehicle without considering traffic regulations, despite his government’s ongoing road safety campaign by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
The NTSA had during the festive season erected roadblocks on various major roads, including Thika Superhighway that leads to the President’s rural home, to nab drivers breaking traffic rules.
The Traffic Act caps the fine for driving without a seat belt in the case of a first conviction at a maximum of Sh200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a fine not exceeding Sh400,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or both.
Citizen TV did not run the story on Friday night as promised, instead saying it would air at a later date. It is not clear if the criticism played any part in having the story held.
“He is a good president, but tell him to be wearing a seat belt at all times. Safety first, “wrote Eliza Wanja on Facebook.
“Where is my president going driving by himself? I do not see his BMW outriders? And why is my President not wearing a seat belt? He likes to joke and its dangerous,” wrote Jano Nyaga.
Some wondered at the message the President portrayed by contravening basic traffic rules considering that Kenyans regard him as a role model.
“If he did not wear a seat belt, and he is the President of the Republic of Kenya, how can you expect an ordinary citizen to wear a seat belt on the road. Remember you should lead by example on simple things like wearing a seat belta,”said Kassim Gade on Facebook.
However, others like Star Juma urged urged Kenyans not to judge the President too harshly before viewing the whole video.
“My President is a humble man but this vidoe is very short…it should have been longer” wrote on Facebook.
State House digital communications director Dennis Itumbi explained that the video was part of a feature prepared by one television station and Kenyans should wait to view it in its entirety.
“I cannot say anything now until the feature is aired,” said Mr Itumbi in a telephone interview with Taifa Leo on Friday.