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Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi. [Standard]

In a bid to stop coronavirus spread, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a dusk to dawn curfew starting Friday.
 
It is meant to last as long as necessary as the world grapples with the spread of the viral disease.
 
In his numerous updates of the status of the disease in the country, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe insisted that not following the directives is courting disaster.
 
The stern-talking CS said those found outside past curfew hours risk being arrested and charged.
 
But is Kenya ready for a curfew?
 
According to Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi, it is not.
 
He opines that Kenya is yet to bridge the gap between police formulation and implementation.
 
Indeed the order on the curfew may have been unseen, but it is what countries are doing to arrest the disaster that is covid-19.
 
South Africa is one of Africa's countries to impose a 21-day lock-down in the face of the pandemic. Cases in the country surpassed the 1,000 mark on Friday and the first two deaths reported.
 
Zimbabwe and India have also imposed national lock-downs -- it starts on March 30 in Zimbabwe.
 
Leaders and citizens alike have had to make rash decisions to tame the virus spread. President Uhuru Kenyatta may be excused for ordering the curfew that seems albeit ill-timed.
 
By Friday 4pm, Kenyans were headed home, but public service operators had beaten them to it.
 
Only a few were still operational.
 
What worsened the situation is also the fact that the PSVs are carrying at half capacity, when all passengers came out at the same time to rush home and beat the curfew.
 
Carrying at half capacity is still one of the orders from the Health ministry to reduce the virus spread. This order and the curfew seem to be clashing.
 
In his statement on Saturday, Musalia continued that curfews are not just imposed and implemented, unless you are dealing with a hostile population in a sudden and violently disruptive situation. 
 
"Curfews must be methodically planned for, and all contingent considerations thought through and mitigated. In this case, there is clear failure on the part of the government. As citizens, we call upon them to get back to the drawing boards."
 
Shortly after announcing the curfew order, the President added that certain groups of people were exempt, as would be expected.
 
But the video clips, images and complaints online paint a different story.
 
The Kenya police seem ready to use force even when it seems unnecessary.
 
Mudavadi went on, "The Likoni incident did not, for example, show any mechanisms to identify health workers reporting to duty, or going home after duty.
 
"It did not identify or spare journalists at work, or security guards reporting for work, or going back home after work."
 
Questions asked are whether the police understood the directive themselves.
 
As Kagwe insisted that social distancing is among the most effective ways of keeping the virus at bay, the police seemed to go completely against it.
 
Residents were pictured hounded in groups, beating the essence of the curfew to stop the virus spread in the first place.
 
At a time when the world is watching how countries are dealing with coronavirus and what measure are put in place, the forces put up a bad show of what Kenya is doing to its citizenry.
 
"Everything else notwithstanding, the government must admit failure in this regard and apologise to Kenyans."
 
Uhuru has further been criticised on mismanagement of the curfew.
 
Mudavadi added that the occurrences are a reflection of the thinking deficit in government. 
 
"President Uhuru needs to get his team back to the drawing boards and get them to come up with people-friendly interventions that will help to defeat the virus.  If he does not have the right people, he must shake up his teams to inject in them sophisticated efficiency".

Kenya
According to Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi, it is not.


Coronavirus Covid-19 Coronavirus Kenya Musalia Mudavadi

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