A new police post has been established at Mpakani area in Lunga Lunga sub county of Kwale close to the border with Tanzania to stop cross border movement of people in the wake of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak.
The police post has been opened next to the Horo-Horo immigration control point to ensure there is no illegal cross border movement of people between the two East African states.
Last month President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the closure of borders with Tanzania and Somalia as cross-border coronavirus infections continued to rise in the region.
Kwale County Commissioner (CC) Karuku Ngumo who toured the border point on Friday said already 20 police officers had been deployed at the new police station to man the border.
Ngumo who is the chairman of the county security and intelligence committee said police in the region will put in place a system to regulate the movement of people to check the spread of the virus.
He said since the closure of the border people from both sides have resorted to using informal and unregulated crossing points to beat the border restrictions.
“Recently we arrested 60 people and forced them into quarantine after they were found trying to cross back from Tanzania through our porous border and that is why we have opened a new police post to intercept such travelers,” he said.
The administrator said security has been heightened along the border to ensure all those crossing over illegally are apprehended and put into 14-day coronavirus quarantine.
The CC advised border residents to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travels as border regions are increasingly becoming covid-19 hotspots.
He reiterated that the border is closed for human traffic to limit cross border spread of the acute respiratory infectious disease adding that the closure only exempts cargo trucks whose drivers must undergo mandatory covid-19 tests and only be allowed through the border when they turn negative.
Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani who also visited the border crossing said he is glad the government opened the police station in the area to boost the security of the residents and help intercept people sneaking back to the country through the illegal points along the porous border.
The MP said he will use funds from the National Government Constituency Development Fund to expand the border police post and build living quarters for the security personnel.
Mwashetani asked the border communities to take the covid-19 pandemic seriously and strictly adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure they stay safe from covid-19 and asked residents to report any illegal crossings.
By Hussein Abdullahi