Street families spared as police enforce curfew

Street families in Nakuru were spared of the police brutality unleashed on those who had not complied with the curfew.

As the dusk to dawn curfew came into effect on Friday evening, Nakuru town residents steered clear of the streets as early as 6:40pm.

Police officers were deployed to enforce the curfew in what turned out to be a brutal engagement with those who couldn't beat the set time.

The town is however home to over 800 street families who spend the night on the verandahs covered in rugs.

The young street mothers with their children had nowhere to run to as their male counterparts vanished into unknown hideouts.

"We have nowhere to go. I have a young child to take care of. I can't manage these running battles with the police with a baby on my back," said one of the street mothers.

They were the only lucky persons spared of the police brutality unleashed on those who had not complied with the curfew.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said that the street families would be spared since they had nowhere to go.

"Chasing street families will complicate the situation. Theirs is a unique situation which the curfew can't cure at the moment," Natembeya said.

Natembeya who was flanked by Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui and County Police Boss lauded the residents for their compliance.

"There were a few people who were innocently caught up by time while others were just reluctant. We hope things will be smoother tomorrow," said Natembeya.

He urged the residents to ensure they start leaving the town as early as 5pm to ensure they are home in time and avoid last minute rush that saw many miss matatus.

All businesses had been shut by curfew time including chemists, some of which operate round the clock as they had no clients to serve in the ghost town.

Left on the streets were the police on patrol, private security guards and county workers from the environment department who were busy cleaning up the streets without the usual interference from motorists.

With transport brought to a halt, fuel station attendants had no clients to serve and could only keep guard of the property.

Gusii road and Kanu Street which are known for their twenty-four hour economy with entertainment had rare silence.

One of the bus companies had not closed its offices by 7:45pm when a police officer forced them to close down.

Truck drivers were directed to park their vehicles at the nearest gas stations for the night.