Kagwe tells police to arrest social media users for bullying Brenda – VIDEO
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday expressed outrage over the social media attack on Ivy Brenda Cherotich, one of the recovered coronavirus patients.
The CS, who was giving the Covid-19 daily briefing, wondered why a section of Kenyans took to social media to make a mockery of the government’s efforts to raise awareness.
His remarks came after Brenda who was known as patient zero shared her journey to recovery on Wednesday through different media interviews. Later, Kenyans on social media trolled her with some saying the government was using her for public relations.
“It is unpalatable for anyone to trivialise the lives of Kenyans. I condemn this. I am saddened that some Kenyans have gone to social media to make a mockery of the situation…. Really?” the CS wondered.
The CS said that the government would not use innocent Kenyans to try and conduct a “PR exercise” on the state of Covid-19.
“Yesterday I informed you about our two young people who have recovered from coronavirus. Why would a government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and other inter-governmental organisations decide to make a PR exercise with two innocent Kenyans?” he posed.
A visibly angry Kagwe described the claims as “unpalatable” and described those trivializing the government’s efforts as “archaic and retrogressive”.
“I condemn in the strongest terms any person who would attempt to do that,” he added.
The Health CS further warned that those found culpable will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Brenda captured the attention of the entire country on Wednesday after going public about her recovery from coronavirus.
In the interview, she said that indeed she had the virus, explained where she could have possibly caught it, and revealed that she has now fully recovered.
Kagwe’s sentiments come a day after Brenda and patient 3 Brian Orinda who also recovered from the virus held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta via teleconference with the session beamed live on local television stations.
Brenda and Brian were shortly criticised as a government project meant to drive an agenda.
Social media users turned personal and scrambled into her social media accounts to discredit her account with some sharing photos of her in bikinis.
Kenya now has confirmed 110 cases of Covid-19 with three confirmed deaths and four having recovered.
Last month the government said that Kenyans who are “spreading rumours” about the deadly Covid-19 will be tracked, arrested and prosecuted.
Government spokesman Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said it is criminal to spread malicious and alarmist statements through social media and digital channels.
“These fake and alarmist rumours will be forwarded to the cybercrime unit and DCI for investigation, arrest and prosecution of the authors and this spreading the same,” Oguna said in a statement.
According to the Computer and Cyber Crimes Act, sharing fake news and propagating hate speech attracts a Sh5 million fine or a two-year prison sentence, or both.