Tana and Lamu leaders oppose curfew

Acting CS for Interior and Coordination of National Government Dr. Fred Matiang’i

A section of local leaders want the Government to review the three-month curfew imposed on the county.

The leaders also accused the Government of failing to consult widely before imposing the curfew.

Chama Cha Uzalendo senatorial candidate Maur Bwanamaka and Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) Lamu chairman Sheikh Mohamed Abdulkadir lamented the restriction would hurt local economies.

“Tana River has been peaceful for the past four years and does not deserve such restrictions. I am appealing to the Government to review the curfew. It should start at about 9pm to allow movement and economic activities, particularly in urban centres such as Hola and Garsen,” Bwanamaka said.

He said since the 2012/2013 Tana Delta clashes that were followed by lengthy curfews, the county has not had major insecurity issues.

Curfew spared

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Sheikh Abdulkadir said while he is happy the curfew spared Lamu, Manda and Pate islands, it is unnecessary.

“Curfews have kept away tourists and paralysed trade in Lamu County. The Government should have started by assessing the situation on the ground before imposing the curfew. Other than reviewing the time it should start and end, the Government must also reduce it to 30 instead of 90 days,” he said.

The curfew also covers parts of Ijara in Garissa County in the ongoing war against Al Shabaab insurgents. It followed a series of attacks on police and civilians in the nearby Lamu County.

Sheikh Abdulkadir said the curfew would also paralyse campaigns as well as affect the August elections.

Lamu experienced lengthy curfews imposed by former police boss David Kimaiyo following the June 2014 Mpeketoni terrorist attacks that claimed several lives. [Patrick Beja] 

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