Amnesty International criticizes move to block unvaccinated Kenyans from government services
By Jael Mboga
| November 23rd 2021
Amnesty International has urged the government to abandon coercive and mandatory measures in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
It will be mandatory for Kenyans to have a coronavirus vaccination certificate to access in-person services in government offices starting December 21.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, issued a raft of measures that will make it mandatory for Kenyans to attain the certificate to carry out activities ahead of the festivity season.
Among the government services that unvaccinated Kenyans will be locked out from include; Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Education, National Transport Service Authority (NTSA), Immigration, hospital and prison visitations and port services among others.
Speaking during a press briefing, Kagwe, said it will also be mandatory for all drivers, matatu conductors, boda boda riders, pilots, air hostesses and Kenyans working in the transport sector to show proof of full vaccination at all times.
Kagwe, who was accompanied by Tourism CS Najib Balala, further directed that it will be mandatory to show proof of vaccination for admission into National Parks, Game Reserves, hotels, bars and restaurants.
Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton has now said the Health ministry should instead accelerate effective education programmes to address vaccine uptake and misinformation.
"While there are legitimate public health reasons for as many people as possible to be vaccinated, these reasons should not deprive a person of their right to work, essential services including education, health and security, and their freedom of movement,” he said.
Irungu said most countries introducing mandates for public and private facilities have already reached the 60-70 per cent threshold of vaccination.
“It is unrealistic for Kenya to go from 8.8 to 60 per cent within a month.”
The AI director added that the government is on record stating that it currently only has vaccine supplies for 15 per cent of the population and requires more human resources to reach all Kenyans.
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