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Transport, business paralyzed in Kajiado as curfew begins

Motorists plying the Nairobi-Namanga highway were on Friday night forced to cut short their journey and spend the night on the road as the countrywide 7pm-5am curfew came into effect.
Vehicles found on the road at 7pm were impounded and their drivers arrested for not adhering to the curfew.
Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha who led an operation to ensure that the curfew directive was being adhered to said at least 20 vehicles including matatus and lorries were seized in various roads in the county.
“We have netted several vehicles including public services vehicles, sand harvesting lorries as well as some individuals whom we found on the road after 7 pm for flouting the curfew directive ordered by the President to contain the spread of Coronavirus,” Nkanatha said.
Nkanatha cautioned locals to adhere strictly to the dusk to dawn curfew adding that anyone found flouting the directive would face the full force of the law.
He further advised travellers to plan their journeys early to ensure they are not caught in transit when the curfew commences.
The CC noted that the curfew was aimed at reducing the spread of Covid 19 and was for the good of all Kenyans.
“Kenyans should be wary of the danger that this virus poses to their families and to themselves therefore we should honour the pleas to ensure that we minimise our movement to only essential services so that we don’t contract this disease as well as slowing down the spread. We will not hesitate to impound any vehicle or arrest anybody who shall defy the presidential directive,” Nkanatha stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced a 7pm to 5am curfew to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus with only individuals offering essential services being exempted.
In a Gazette notice issued Thursday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i exempted workers and companies who offer 20 services he termed as essential.
These include those in the medical sector, retail, media, aviation, telecommunications, food supply chain, emergency services and security. Those found violating the curfew will be arrested and charged in court.
Businesses in Kitengela, Kajiado, Namanga, Isinya, Ngong, Loitokitok, Kiserian and all urban areas in the county closed as early as 5pm as residents rushed home to beat the curfew.
Streets in Kitengela town were empty by 6pm with shops and businesses closed as residents rushed to their houses before the 7pm deadline.
Peter Mungai a shopkeeper at Kitengela town said he was forced to close his shop by 5pm so that he can be home before the curfew began as he did not want to be caught on the wrong side of the law.
Mungai said he normally closes his shop at 11pm and the curfew will definitely affect his sales but added that it was for the benefit of all Kenyans as it would help contain the spread of Coronavirus.
“It is important that the government took this inititative to lock us in our houses for our safety because life is more inportant than business and if we are all healthy then definitely we have another chance to make money,” Mungai said.
Stanley Mosetu a bodaboda rider in Kitengela town said he was ready to comply with the presidential directive but wished that the curfew was extended to 9pm to enable everyone to reach home from work.
Kajiado Central Bodaboda chairman Fredrick Riisa advised boda boda riders to heed to the call to retire early to their homes to enable the government fight the virus.
“All of us, are living during extraordinary times and it is important that we support the government by going home early despite the challenges that we have because health is paramount,” the bodaboda Chairman advised.
Currently 31people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Kenya with five counties; Nairobi, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kajiado being marked as hot spot areas.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Friday said Nairobi was leading in the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases with a total of 21 cases.
It is followed by Kilifi with six while Kajiado and Kwale each have one confirmed case.
Of the 31 cases, 19 are male 12 are female. One patient died on Thursday while another was discharged after recovering.
By Rop Janet and Albert Lemomo.

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