The Nakuru Department of Health has so far trained 200 police officers on COVID-19 prevention and response.
Saturday’s training targeted police officers from all the police stations in Nakuru Town East sub-County, their traffic counterparts and station commanders. The training was carried out at Nakuru’s Old Town Hall.
Police officers are among the people at high risk of contracting the novel Coronavirus and the training equips them with personal preventive measures.
The officers are also expected to enforce measures put in place by the national and county governments to curb the coronavirus spread.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has categorically stated that other measures will be applied in the unlikely event the Coronavirus hits Nakuru County.
Public Health CO Mr Samuel King’ori commended the police officers for their cooperation in risk assessment and management on the COVID-19 threat.
“The County Government of Nakuru has lined up COVID-19 training sessions to various groups such as community health workers and volunteers,” said Mr King’ori.
He added that the Department of Health will from Monday disinfect all public places such as markets, bus parks, gardens and walkways among other areas.
The County Government of Nakuru has dedicated 0724 320 853 and 0722 337 018 for residents to report suspected Covid-19 cases.
As the rest of the world marked the World AIDS Day on Friday 1st December, and the President attended the World Ploughing Contest in Njoro, a circus was taking place in Nakuru Town.
At the Old Town Hall, a motley crowd gathered and for three hours exchanged words as they purported to discuss an issue they were completely ignorant about.
The previous night, at around half past nine, a hired hand had posted on several WhatsApp groups a picture of a notice apparently calling residents to appear for the all-important exercise. Although the public participation was to bring both Nakuru Town East and Nakuru Town West constituents together, none of their elected leaders was there and the participants in the densely populated sub-counties numbered less than thirty.
The first anomaly noted by the residents was that though the venue of the constitutionally enshrined exercise was indicated, the time was glaringly left out.
The late notice and the omission of time had immediately raised integrity queries among residents but those concerned had decided to push on with the exercise regardless of the concerns.
Earlier in the day, the MCA for Biashara Ward Hon. Peter Nyaguthie had requested the concerned to postpone the event but without success.
“It is highly irregular to summon residents for Public Participation on the Finance Bill within such a short notice. The residents have not had time to go through the document and it’s absurd to expect them to come here today and discuss the same,” said the MCA.
At a meeting for matatu stakeholders earlier in the day, an officer at the County had tried to get the members to sign their names in a document that would have indicated they were attending Public Participation but they had refused.
For three hours, a crowd of about twenty had thrown words at each other. Of all those in attendance, only one person had admitted having had prior access to the Finance Bill with the rest whose majority were political hangers-on in Nakuru Town wondered what they were there to discuss.
“I believe whoever is behind today’s exercise is taking Nakuru residents for fools. How many people who will be affected by the Finance Bill are here today? How many are aware that it’s happening and how many are even aware of its contents?” Wondered one participant who wanted the whole sham exercise postponed.
On his part, the county official in charge kept saying that since that was not the final part of the Finance Bill, it didn’t matter whether those in attendance knew of its contents.
“We are already late in this process. We cannot, therefore, postpone this process and since this is not even the final session in the process, it really doesn’t matter whether people are aware of today’s proceedings,” said the official trying to calm the unruly crowd.
It remains to be seen whether the exercise that clearly exposed the Finance Department as inefficient, uncaring and with a hidden agenda will consider the circus a valid exercise. Many residents are of the opinion that this was no more than a sham exercise aimed at ramming something down the people’s throats and it should be declared null and void and another one held.
The Nakuru Town Matatu stakeholders are working on a formula to decongest the town before the end of the year.
While meeting at Old Town Hall with representatives from the County Government and local leaders, the Nakuru matatu sector leaders said they will be meeting weekly for the next four weeks to work out the modalities.
The Friday morning one-hour meeting came after enforcement officers from the Nakuru County Government confiscated signboards belongings some of the matatus operating within the CBD.
The confiscation of the signboards came a few days after residents raised a hue and cry with the proliferation of matatu stages within the main streets within the CBD. Business owners have been complaining about their businesses being blocked and other motorists say there is no longer parking space in most streets as matatus have taken over.
Addressing the gathering, Biashara Ward representative MCA Wanyaguthie said that although he emphasized with the matatu stakeholders, they also had a responsibility to ensure they observed the laid down laws.
“Although I speak on your behalf, we must also admit that some of you have broken the law and this has to change. We, therefore, need to come up with a formula to move the matatus out of the CBD and decongest the town.
An enforcement officer Mr Sifuna said although his orders had been to confiscate signboards from 12 newly established matatu stages which were operating within the town streets, he had acted on all matatus operating within Town.
“Some of these matatu Saccos have been allocated four to six parking lots but they end up taking much more space thus congesting the town and denying the county revenue in parking fees,” said Sifuna.
Under the new arrangement, only a few vehicles will be at the stage at any given time with the others being parked outside the town.
The stakeholders, local MCAs and representatives from the county government will be meeting every Friday afternoon for the next four weeks at the Old Town Hall to work out the relocation formula.
However, the matatu operators were adamant that they would not agree to a total relocation from town and would embark on demonstrations even it came to that.