President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the curfew by another 30 days but reduced the time of the curfew. The curfew will now start at 9 pm and end at 4 am in the morning. Previously the curfew started at 7 pm and ended at 5 am.
Many people all over the country especially youths took to social media to vent the anxiety that has been brooding all along. They came up with funny videos and posts on social media to show how much they were yearning for ‘freedom’. They were hoping the president was going to loosen restrictions especially the lockdowns in the virus stricken areas like Nairobi and Mombasa. However, this was not to be and the decision deserves applause. Many Kenyans could have been at risk and the crisis could have gone beyond the ability of the government to control the pandemic.
Some Kenyans disagreed while other agreed to the president’s decision. In Nyandarua for example, traders, politicians and the clergy praised the President’s speech, saying it was out of wisdom and good counsel. The same also applied to leaders from other regions such as Laikipia and Nakuru.
Nyandarua Municipality Traders Association Chairman John Maina praised the president saying that the extension of curfew hours will benefit small traders. Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia also applauded the move arguing that the new COVID-19 measures will boost economic growth which has stagnated.
Nakuru County Jubilee Party Branch Secretary Mtumishi Cheruiyot also treaded the same path but also urged the government to give students portable personal computers so that they can easily access e-learning materials.
Elsewhere in Naivasha, Mr. Geoffrey Muhoro said he was against the relaxation of the COVID-19 measures.
“I was worried about the government relaxing the COVID-19 measures. I was opposed to it. The president made a good decision,” he said.
Now what next?
Now Kenyans have to make ends meet amid adversity and the relaxed COVID-19 measures will be a huge boost to the common Mwananchi.
However, Kenyans should give their health first priority and follow the provided guidelines to avoid infection by the Coronavirus. We should accept that the virus is real. Let’s sanitize our hands as many times as possible and avoid large gatherings. Stay one-metre or six feet away from your nearest person and clench your fist when coughing or sneezing.
The government might not have pleased Kenyans by not removing the lockdowns in virus struck areas but this was necessary. Let’s look at the bigger picture.
Unfortunately, while we should applaud CS Kagwe for the good job his ministry has done so far double standards have been evident especially in many funerals. The rule given to all Kenyans in this Coronavirus crisis is that only family members should attend funerals
However, this has not been the case in cases involving political moguls and well-connected individuals. The government has denied some families even an opportunity of a last goodbye to their lost loved ones such as the incident witnessed in Mathira where the police barred Konyu ward MCA Mr. Wamumbie from paying tribute to his late wife.
“I am saddened as the police have no respect for the church and have no feelings towards a family in mourning,” MP Rgathi Gchagua of Mathira constituency said at the funeral.
This creates a bad example as Kenyans look up to their leaders for direction. Even those who have had doubts over how real the COVID-19 crisis might start to have doubts again once incidences like these keep happening. All Kenyans are under the law and there should not be bias from the police or the government especially when a devastating pandemic like COVID-19 is among us.
Besides, at markets the situation all over the country is not good as many people crowd at the same place. This is a big health risk. The government should do sensitization further and salesmen and saleswomen in markets should observe sanitization and social distancing appropriately.
The future looks grim to say the least as we do not know what could happens long as there is no cure for the Coronavirus. However, by observing the provided guidelines there is still hope amid adversity.