Roselyne Akombe, 17 others fault Uhuru over curfew

Thursday, April 16th, 2020 15:10 |
Rosylin Akombe

A group of lobbyists have criticized President Uhuru Kenyatta for imposing a nationwide curfew terming the move as insensitive to needs of daily wage earners.

They claim the curfew currently being enforced in the country to control the spread of the disease, has not only been chaotic but also abusive to the public.

Led by former IBEC commissioner Roselyne Akombe, Prof. Yash Ghai, Prof. Makau Mutua, Maina Kiai and George Kegoro said rather than persuade the public to comply, they claim, the government has chosen the path of coercion to achieve compliance, which besides undermining the purposes of the curfew, has also led to tragic consequences that only undermine the legitimacy of the government.

“The curfew does not seem to regard the needs of daily wage earners who must work daily or the limitations of the poorest families who have no capacity to stock large amounts of food or water,” they said in their submissions to the Senate adhoc committee on COVID-19 situation.

They held: “A curfew or lockdown needs to take into account not only these realities but also the practical logistics of people who live in densely populated urban neighborhoods, whose circumstances already negate social distancing and who need special logistics to live.”

Others include Gladwell Otieno, Njonjo Mue, Jerotich Seii, John Githongo, Otsieno Namwaya, Kwamchetsi Makokha, Jill Ghai, Davinder Lamba, Father Gabriel Dolan, Abdul Noormohamed, Donald Deya, Alvin Mosioma and Samuel Mohochi.

According to them, the nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am should have considered the low-income economy and its logistics in order to be in better focus.

“Food supply and distribution operates through this low-income economy and stakeholders must be identified, planned for and consulted,” they said.

For instance, they observed in Wuhan, China and according to FAO expertise, shorter food chains and localized food systems can help stop a health emergency becoming a food crisis.

Further, lobbyists claimed, the decision to impose a countrywide curfew does not seem to be evidence-led.

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