Nairobi residents were last night caught unawares by curfew-enforcement roadblocks abruptly erected by police.
Along Thika Road, the roadblock caused a traffic snarl-up that stretched from the NYS drift all the way to Pangani. Other road blocks were mounted at Kayole Junction, Wilson Airport, Lang’ata Road, Mwiki, Kasarani, Junction Mall, Coptic Hospital, Arboretum, Ruai, Utawala, Two Rivers and at Kenyatta University Hospital.
The police were enforcing the 8pm-4am curfew in Nairobi. The curfew is meant to limit movement as a way of containing the spread of coronavirus. Nairobi County is one of the “disease hotspots” alongside Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Nakuru.
Human Rights’ Body Protests Roadblocks
“It’s unconscionable that thousands of Kenyans have been prevented from reaching their homes in the pretext of curfew enforcement,” said the Kenya Human Rights Commission in a statement. “There is no excuse for punishing civilians because the government has failed to respond to the challenges facing Kenyans due to imposed restrictions.”
Following an outcry on social media, police finally allowed motorists along Thika Road to go through the roadblock. By 11.45pm, the highway was clear.
Unlock Our Country
The online protests by Kenyans also reinvigorated the campaign for an end to the lockdown measures. Using the #UNLOCKourCountry, Kenyans narrated how the curfew has snapped their livelihoods. Those working in the hospitality sector are worst hit.
Earlier this week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the current curfew will run until May 29.