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Kenya’s police crack whip on curfew violators elicits mixed reactions

Kenya’s police crack whip on curfew violators elicits mixed reactions
Commuters wait for a bus to return to home before a new 8pm-4am curfew in downtown Nairobi, Kenya   -  
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Kenya’s police recent crackdown on the curfew violators on major city roads has elicited mixed reactions across the East African country.

Dozens of police erected barricades on various major roads and highways to nab on motorists past 8 pm local time, the time when curfew begins.

Hundreds of Kenyans caught up past the curfew time were stuck in traffic for hours.

Those caught up in traffic included students, essential workers and patients being rushed to the hospitals.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 26 announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and out four other counties.

The new restrictions meant no road, rail, or air transport will be permitted in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos, and Nakuru.

As for curfew, hours now start at 20:00 until 04:00 am (instead of 22:00 until 04:00 am`) in the five counties.

Special passes that allowed people to travel during curfew hours were also revoked.

Kenya’s Covid-19 cases were on a steady rise till the end of March.

"According to our health experts, our third wave started to gain strength in early March," said Kenyatta.

The peak of this wave is expected in the next 30 days, with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases per day," he added.

-Mixed reactions-

A number of Kenyans express their displeasure with the new crackdown, citing several reasons including lack of commuter services from the capital.

Kenyatta also ordered the closure of bars and schools in Nairobi.

"Whereas the foregoing measures will have a negative impact on the economy, these measures are temporary... the cost of not acting now will be much greater," Mr. Kenyatta said.