KENYA’S HEALTH CABINET SECRETARY HARSHLY CRITICIZED FOR HOTEL CLOSURE ORDER WITHOUT FACTS
(Posted 22nd July 2017)
The bemused look of Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary C. Mailu was no doubt wiped off his face when he encountered a barrage of outrage from a wide section of the hospitality industry following his short of fact and shot from the hip ‘closure order‘ against the Jacaranda Hotel, having fallen for the fake story initially peddled by the Star newspaper that the hotel was responsible for the suspected cholera outbreak following an outside catering at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
This myth – some say it may have been a deliberate ‘mistake‘ – was swiftly put to rest however as the Jacaranda management refuted the allegations and demanded a withdrawal of the story.
The Star has since apologized according to the letter seen and published here for the information of readers.
The ministerial order, according to usually reliable sources based on such fake information, now stands in the spotlight as an earlier outbreak of Cholera, that time confirmed, at the Weston Hotel opposite Wilson Airport, went without any sanction of such kind, no doubt as a favour for the owner who is of course well known in Kenya.
It is understood that the Jacaranda Hotel management is exploring further legal options to not just overturn the ministerial ‘directive‘ but seek further damages for the initial false reports which were then used to justify a closure order.
The Jacaranda Hotel had passed all previous health inspections by county government and other authorities and, according to a source close to the hotel, has no doubt it will pass all future inspections too.
The Cabinet Secretary is also now accused of politicizing the ongoing health issues by seeking easy victims to blame rather than addressing his portfolio’s failures to contain the repeated cholera and suspected cholera outbreaks in the country.
Said a regular hospitality contributor on condition of anonymity: ‘We refuse as an industry to be made a punching ball by a health minister whose competence must be very much questioned now. Under his watch he faced so many challenges. He also showed serious bias for not acting previously when another hotel was under the spotlight but now orders the closure of two other hotels. What about those who actually catered for the KICC event? Why did he not close them? I and many more question his competence and absence of any common sense. We know it is election time but the fellow is playing with fire‘.
Watch this space to find out in coming days how this is playing out.