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Police officers control traffic at a roadblock at Lukenya area in Athi River following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that people should not travel in or out of Nairobi metropolitan area. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Kenya
PS Kibicho says roadblocks meant to contain the spread of coronavirus and not to punish Kenyans

Authorities have released a list of spots where police will erect roadblocks in the four affected counties to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said they were not doing so to punish people but to help them from the deadly pandemic.

“The government is not doing this to punish people.  It is doing this to save people,” he said.

“For instance, he said if one lives in Nyeri and works in Nairobi he or she has to stay there for the next 21 days.”

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In the  Nairobi Metropolitan Area, the roadblocks will be erected at Small World Club in Athi River, Katani, Choka, Chania Bridge, Landless on Garissa Road, Uplands, Rironi- Maì Mahiu Junction, Ngong, Kiserian, Isinya and Ting’ang’a.

In Mombasa, the roadblocks will be at Makupa Causeway, Nyali Bridge at Lights, Likoni Ferry at the ramp, Lunga Lunga Road at Shika Adabu, Shanzu and Mtopanga.

In Kilifi County they will be at Sabaki Bridge, Mtwapa, Mariakani, Mavueni at Maji Ya Jumvi while in Kwale they will be at Kombani, Samburu and Lunga Lunga.

Kibicho said multi-agency teams will man the roadblocks to ensure only designated vehicles are allowed to pass to meet the goals of the partial lockdown.

The teams will include police, ministry of health officials to check those allowed, national administrators and National Intelligence Service personnel.

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“There will be no personal vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles that will be allowed through these roadblocks. Only vehicles carrying food with a driver and turn boy will be allowed and the owner has to give a letter to explain the contents of the vehicle,” he said.

The move follows a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta banning movements of people and vehicles into and out of Mombasa, Nairobi, Kwale and Kilifi counties as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

“If you live in Mtwapa and work in Mombasa you will not be allowed to go to Mombasa from Wednesday," He said.

Equally, the Likoni ferry will only allowed to carry cargo from Wednesday for the next 21 days.

The start of the isolation in Nairobi saw many stranded for hours before an order was issued to allow the vehicles to proceed to their destinations.

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The announcement that the isolation in Nairobi would start on Monday night saw many motorists rush to various destinations hence a huge traffic jam at Kamulu, Rironi, Blue Post and Ngong.

It took an order from Harambee House to allow the vehicles to proceed to their destinations at about 9 pm. The multi-agency teams had erected the roadblocks ready for action and were not listening to the pleas by the affected motorists.

Stranded travellers walked across the roadblocks after being dropped by vehicles and transferred to different ones that waited on the other side.

In Limuru passengers alighted about a kilometre away from a police roadblock and walked through to Nairobi side where they took public service vehicles to the city. Officials reported the same trend happened in other roadblocks hence beating the logic of the isolation.


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