Mombasa lobby seeks compensation

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Muhuri chairman Khelef Khalifa (centre) with Old Town residents during the release of a survey conducted in the area. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Residents of Mombasa Old Town are demanding  compensation for the duration it was placed under partial lockdown.

They also want the government to reimburse them for the loss their claim they incurred in the period the region was declared Corona epicenter.

Further, the residents have demanded for reimbursement of expenses paid for quarantine after some of the families were taken under mandatory quarantine.

Through the Old Town Residents Association (OTRA), the residents claim they lost their sources of income from the ‘unwarranted’ restrictions, right to practice religion as well as suffered negative psychological and social impact. 

They told of how shops were closed during Ramadhan. Their sentiments came after a survey conducted by OTRA  in collaboration with Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri) recommended that they be compensated  because there was no justification that the area was an epicenter.

Main reason 

The survey conducted between June 1 and 4 established that 58.6 per cent of the respondents indicated that they do not believe that the virus is real. 

The survey also established that quite a number of the residents have not tested for the virus. 

OTRA chairman, Mbwana Abdalla, said according to the survey, there was no justification to put the region under lockdown, therefore, they feel the government deliberately violated their rights.

“Some 95.5 per cent of 987 respondents have not been tested for Coronavirus, however, even those who believe it is there and can affect them are yet to be tested, hence what was the main reason the government gave the directive,? paused Abdalla. 

Further he said that 8.5 per cent of Old Town residents do not know someone who had tested positive for the virus.

It also indicates that 96 per cent of the respondents are not aware of anyone who had died from the virus in the area.

“Old Town is an area where everyone knows everyone. Most of us have no idea of who died of the virus and there were only two names that recurred from the respondents who they said had succumbed to the disease,” he added.

However, Abdalla said that a central reason given by the respondents for not volunteering to be tested for Covid-19 was the fear of being quarantined in facilities that did not meet basic hygiene standards and sometimes at their expense.

“We have approached the county and national government for a response on how they reached their statistics and made the decision to issue the directive, but we have not gotten a response from them” said Muhuri chair Khelef Khalifa.

More on News