The wealthy Eastleigh Business Community has threatened to boycott the Star newspaper and Daily Nation after the media houses run a story of a deceased resident, which they claimed had been sensationalized.
“Our biggest enemy is the media because of sensational headlines. When they said that an Imam died, yet it was a shopkeeper, and when you keep talking of religion saying that (the outbreak in Eastleigh) is a culture, therefore, implying that we are dirty and indisciplined. That one we will not accept. It is particularly Daily Nation. If Daily Nation and The Star continue like that, we will appeal to our members not to buy them,” said the community leader Hussein Mohamed.
He further noted that the community was contemplating legal action and a boycott against the two dailies.
“We are contemplating legal action because no Imam died yet Daily Nation said the Muslims are dirty and indisciplined. When the priest came from Italy, and the DG of Kilifi, they were treated as individuals,” he added.
On Wednesday, May 6, The Star published a story of an Imam, who knew his status well, had spread the virus in the area before succumbing to it on April 16.
Quoting Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, the article titled How an Imam Spread Coronavirus in Eastleigh indicated that the Imam had interacted freely despite carrying the virus.
“The spike in infections in Eastleigh and Mombasa Old Town is communal, and it is partly because of the Ramadhan period, during which people gather for prayers and breaking the fast,” indicated the Daily Nation.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i while addressing leaders in the Eastleigh on Saturday said the move to lock down Eastleigh is purely to control spread of Covid-19.
“No one should say that by closing Eastleigh were are being discriminative, that is not true. You are our brothers and sisters, you pay tax and employ our brothers,” the CS said.
Matiang’i said residents of Eastleigh are Kenyans and taxpayers and, therefore, deserve equal treatment like the rest of the population.
“As a Government, we get our money to deliver services from taxing businesses like yours, so when you do not do business, the first entity that suffers is the Government because taxes reduce,” said Matiang’i.
On May 6, the Government locked down Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Old Town in Nairobi after the two areas continued to record significantly high coronavirus cases.