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Covid-19: Taita Taveta MCA among 12 arrested for defying orders

Friday April 17 2020

Voi Police Station in Taita Taveta

A file photo of a sign at the entrance to Voi Police Station in Taita Taveta County. PHOTO | LUCY MKANYIKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A member of Taita Taveta County assembly and 11 other people were on Thursday evening arrested for not adhering to social distancing regulations as the country fights the spread of Covid-19.

Sagalla MCA Godwin Kilele was also apprehended for not wearing a face mask in a public place, in line with the government's directive for everybody in Kenya to do so.

Sources at Voi Police Station said the 12 people were arrested after members of the public raised concerns over their conduct as they played draughts in Voi town.

"The station received a tip from the public that people were behaving recklessly therefore posing a risk to others. That is why we rushed there to arrest them," a police officer said.

The group was released on Thursday night after a stern warning against gathering in public for as long as the virus continues to wreak havoc in Kenya and across the world.

The source said 26 people had been arrested over the same offences and 14 of them charged at the Voi Law Courts.


The MCA confirmed the arrests and release when the Nation contacted him by phone on Friday.


Taita Taveta's health department is following up on more than 500 people on self-quarantine at their homes across the county.

Health executive John Mwangeka said health workers, local administrators and disease surveillance officials from the were monitoring them following their return from countries affected by the virus.

"We are working with Nyumba Kumi elders, chiefs, ward administrators and sub-county security teams to monitor them," Mr Mwangeka said, noting contacts had also been identified and that routine checks for symptoms were taking place.

"We are now focusing on strengthening our capacity to handle cases in need of isolation and quarantine and also following up with the national government on testing locally instead of sending samples to Kilifi," he said.


Meanwhile, three foreigners were arrested in Taveta on Thursday for being in the country illegally.

The Tanzanians were arrested after it was established that they used the porous Taveta-Holili border to get into the country.

The government closed the Taveta-Holili One Stop Border Post to prevent movement into and out of the country as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Police tightened security in the area after residents complained that traders from the neighbouring country still crossed over for business.

"We are conducting frequent patrols. For now the situation is under control," said Taveta Sub-county Commander Lawrence Marwa.

He reported that Tanzanian officials arrested a Kenyan refugee, who fled from the Kakuma camp, and deported him for charges.