The business community in Baragoi town Samburu North Sub County are asking the national government to lift the dusk to dawn curfew saying it has negatively affected their daily routine.
The 6pm to 6am curfew was imposed by the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner (RC) George Natembeya on 13th April as a security operation strategy to flush out cattle rustlers and mop up illegal guns following perennial cattle rustling incidents and loss of lives.
Muslim faithful in the town told KNA that the curfew, which was only imposed within Baragoi town, has greatly interfered with their prayer schedule especially during this holy month of Ramadhan.
“As Muslims we are supposed to pray five times in a day but that has been brought down to two times a day and at 4pm the mosque is closed. I feel we have been wrongly targeted since bandits and cattle rustlers don’t live inside the town,” said Hassan Adan, a resident of Baragoi town.
Businessmen especially those operating butcheries and shops said they are incurring losses as they are forced to close their shops by 5:30pm.
Leila Mohamed a Hotel Operator urged the government to review curfew hours within the town saying that town dwellers pose no security threat adding that when cattle are stolen they are not brought to town but they are taken deep in the interiors.
“Please remove this curfew from town because criminals are not in town, by now they have run away to Suguta Valley and others have fled to Marsabit County,” Leila Mohammed said.
Samburu North MP Alois Lentoimaga urged locals to abide by law and advised their children against engaging in cattle rustling in order to restore security in the area.
He asked the police to recover and return livestock that were stolen in the past saying that is the only way communities can live in peace without revenge attacks even after the operation is over.
Samburu County Commissioner (CC) Abdrisack Jaldesa clarified that Baragoi town is under tight surveillance by a joint security task force to ensure that criminals don’t blend with innocent civilians and thereafter the operation will move outwards.
The CC added that the communities living in Samburu North possess many illegal firearms saying that a disarmament exercise will soon follow to ensure Baragoi will stay safe once and for all.
Jaldesa said that night prayers for Muslims can be held at home because at the moment no mosque will be accessible in Baragoi after 6pm.
“As a Muslim I understand your frustration but kindly bear with the government for a little longer, it’s a small price to pay but at the end it’s for the benefit of everyone,” the County Commissioner said.
By Robert Githu