The brother of a driver who Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had claimed was ferrying passengers to Homa Bay with an empty coffin in tow to escape police checkpoints has come out to dismiss the CS’s assertion.
Announcing that the driver had tested positive for Covid-19, Kagwe had on Saturday, April 18 criticized the driver for his ‘selfishness’ as he became the first confirmed case in Homa Bay County.
Nine passengers who were in the vehicle were also immediately put in a quarantine facility.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, April 19, however, Charles Juma, the driver’s brother, offered supporting documents showing that an individual by the name Milton Obote had indeed passed on in Homa Bay, further breaking down the events that took place ahead of the trip.
Juma explained that the passengers were headed to Obote’s burial from Dandora in Nairobi with the requisite government approvals, with family members in Nairobi having offered to purchase and transport the coffin.
He claimed that his brother’s story had been mixed up with that of another group which travelled with an empty coffin on Tuesday, April 14, calling for the truth to be revealed as his brother travelled on Saturday, April 18.
“Milton Obote had been admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital then the family decided to take him home to try other means, where he passed on.
“The family on this side decided to collect funds to take the coffin to the mortuary and take the body home. That is the true story which is contrary to the story that was printed yesterday.
“I would like to request the Governor of Homa Bay to get a clear record of which exact vehicle travelled on Tuesday 14,” he stated.
Noting that he had managed to get in touch with the driver of the other vehicle which was identified on Tuesday, April 14, Juma questioned if indeed his brother was Covid-19 positive.
“I can confirm that I have the contacts of the said driver, I talked to him in the morning today. He told me he is in Malela Dispensary where he is isolated. This is totally different from the KMTC where my brother is.
“If my brother is positive, then what is his wife doing in Dandora? Shouldn’t his wife also be positive? Shouldn’t the people who live in that plot also be positive or quarantined? I’m wondering, the wife has not been called, she has not been picked, but the media out there is saying that the vehicle that carried the coffin is where the driver tested positive.
“Also they’re saying he was arrested at noon. The results were announced at the same time. Homa Bay has no capacity to test Covid-19 cases, the cases are tested at KEMRI in Kisumu. Homa Bay is many kilometres away from Kisumu and it takes at least twenty-four hours to get the results,” he posed.
In his briefing on Saturday, April 18, Kagwe had claimed that he got information on the case from Awiti as he called for Kenyans to avoid coming up with crafty ways to avoid compliance with government directives.
“The governor of Homa Bay informed me of a group of people who travelled from Nairobi in a private vehicle pretending that they were attending a funeral, fully equipped with an empty coffin to illustrate that they were mourners.
“Those people travelled all the way from Nairobi to Homa Bay during this period when we have stopped movement. Thanks to the Homa Bay administration, somebody got suspicious, opened the coffin found and found out that it was empty.
“This person has now taken the disease to Homa Bay where we have now tested the first positive case in Homa Bay because of very selfish reasons,” Kagwe had stated on Saturday, April 18