Joho defends move to place Old Town under partial lock-down
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho yesterday defended the government’s decision to partially shut down Mombasa’s Old Town, due to Covid-19 pandemic, saying it was in the interests of the residents.
While saying he has no regrets about the decision, Joho warned that the situation could have been worse, without the lockdown.
Joho while responding to questions from the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee, on alleged violation of human rights during the partial lockdown, said constant defiance by residents and corresponding data on coronavirus infections in the area informed the decision.
“Let us call a spade a spade, at that time there was defiance from Old Town residents.
If such measures were not taken, we could be reporting worse situations,” he said.
He added: “I took a decision to do so to prevent the spread of the virus, because at that time, 70 per cent of the cases were from Old Town.
Mombasa has in the recent witnessed decline in community infections, owing to what the county government terms as compliance with the Ministry of Health guidelines.
His decision comes days after residents of Old Town have demanded compensation over their untold suffering when the lock-down was imposed. They claim the lock-down led to loss of significant income and jobs.
They also want reimbursement of expenses paid for quarantine after some of the families were taken to mandatory quarantine.
But the senators led by Sylvia Kasanga demanded to know how the decision was reached without consideration of the status of human rights.
“We would like to ask the Mombasa County Covid-19 Response Committee, to table the minutes and procedures on how that decision was reached,”Kasanga said.
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki and his nominated counterpart Halakhe Waqo questioned why Old Town was regarded as a hot-spot, while a recent survey established that the figures were fabricated.