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KMPDU intervenes in medics, police standoff at road block

Monday April 27 2020

Road block near Blue Post Hotel in Thika

Some of the health who had on April 27, 2020 been prevented from crossing a road block near Blue Post Hotel in Thika. KMPDU Chairman James Maina Githinji intervened and urged them to cooperate with the police. PHOTO | SIMON CIURI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

SIMON CIURI
By SIMON CIURI
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A contingent of General Service Unit (GSU) officers have engaged protestors in running battles at a road block near Blue Post Hotel in Thika.

The protestors, who included health workers, were Monday trying to forcibly gain entry into Thika town where most of them work.

The police said they were effecting a ban on movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area announced by the government nearly a month ago. The restricted inter-county movement is aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.

The road block in question is at the border of Murang’a and Kiambu counties.

HEALTH WORKERS FAULTED

GSU Deputy Commander Bashane Omar, who addressed the protesters, faulted the health workers, most of whom work in Thika town in Kiambu County, but reside in Murang’a County, for failing to furnish the police manning the road block with their photos, job identity cards and the health institutions they work for in order to prevent the resultant confusion.

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He said it has become the norm on Mondays for some people to take advantage of the situation to cross over to either Kiambu  – through Thika town and then connect to Nairobi  – or to Murang’a County, purporting that they are health workers.

“Make sure you organise yourself by setting an example by appointing a health representative who will provide the police with the photos of the health workers who will be crossing this road block, which hospitals they work for and which day and time they will be crossing this road block,” said Mr Omar.

KMPDU INTERVENES

Central Region Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Chairman James Maina Githinji regretted the incident but urged the affected health workers to work closely with the police by informing them in advance of their official work-related movements for easy clearance at the road block.

It took the intervention of Dr Githinji to have the affected health workers cleared.

Some travellers have been tricking police by alighting from vehicles a few meters from the road block and then going to Thika town by foot or using bodabodas and then connecting to Nairobi.

Early this month, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho visited the road block and warned the public that only vehicles transporting farm produce or offering essential services will be allowed to pass through the police road blocks. He warned Kenyans against flouting the stipulated laws.