Driver rewarded for handing over passengers who disregarded Covid-19 rules to police

Embu County County Commissioner Abdulahi Galgalo presents a reward of Sh10,000 and foodstuffs to Samson Kariuki’s wife Catherine Gitiri in Embu town. [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]

A matatu driver who won the hearts of many when he turned himself to the authorities for quarantine after realising some of his passengers had sneaked from a county affected by Covid-19 disease has been rewarded.

The driver, Samson Kariuki of Neno Sacco, together with eight passengers are quarantined at the Kenya School of Government, Embu Campus.

Embu County County Commissioner Abdulahi Galgalo presented the reward of Sh10,000 and various foodstuff to the driver’s wife Catherine Gitiri.

Galgalo described Kariuki as a hero for reporting to Neno Sacco after he overheard two passengers say on the phone that they were almost arriving at Embu from Kilifi County after using various routes to avoid police roadblocks.

Kariuki picked the two at Kitui town and on learning about their origin, he was afraid that they had exposed him to the virus, and he risked exposing his family as well.

The government imposed cessation of movement in and out of Kilifi County due to outbreak of Covid-19, only allowing movement of essential personnel.

Galgalo said apart from the eight travellers, 16 other people have also been quarantined following contact tracing by health officials.

“We laud the bold steps Kariuki took to curb the spread of the disease. We also appreciate the residents of Embu County for being vigilant with strangers entering the county. They also reported the four buses which were heading to Embu from Mombasa and were forced to turn back,” he said.

He further said only three of the people quarantined in Embu are locals while the rest are from Meru County.

Gitiri welcomed the good gesture by the county commissioner for rewarding her husband for his brave action adding that she is optimistic the results will turn out negative.

“I was initially very worried after getting the report that he had been quarantined. However, I am now calm and happy that he doesn't have to worry about providing for his family while in quarantine,” she said.

After Kariuki reported to the Sacco, its officials informed the police who intercepted the matatu on arrival to Embu town.

Embu County Police Commander Daniel Rukunga said after the mandatory quarantine, the two passengers will be arraigned for flouting government regulations.