Eldoret's Langas residents defy curfew order

Monday March 30 2020

Langas Estate residents in Eldoret outside their houses past 7pm on March 29, 2020. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Police on Sunday lobbed teargas at residents of Langas estate in Eldoret after they defied the 7pm to 5am curfew order.

The residents said they wanted more time to fend for themselves and their families. Dozens of officers were deployed to the sprawling estate associated with criminal activities to enforce the curfew.

The residents defied the government dusk-to-dawn directive saying the move denies them an opportunity to look for food.


They said the curfew could only be effective if the government supplies relief food to poor households.  

"The majority of people living here are low income earners and business booms here at night, so where will they get food if you tell them to be at home by 7pm?," said George Odhiambo, a resident of Kisumu Ndogo-Langas.

Mr Odhiambo said most people cannot do their businesses normally with the curfew in place. He said most families might not die from the Covid-19 but hunger.

“Imagine hawking has been banned in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and most of us here have been depending on this kind of business for years, how will we survive? Were it not for the curfew, we could be hawking here in the estate at night to earn a living," he added.

They are also worried that the curfew might lead to an increase in criminal activities.

"Without a proper planning by our leaders, cases of robbery might increase," said Mr James Kamau a resident of Langas Kona.

Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Abdirizak Jaldesa said that no one will be spared for defying government orders.


"We are already here and we will handle this. No one is permitted to defy the curfew," Mr Jaldesa told Nation on phone.

Uasin Gishu Police Commander Johnston Ipara warned residents against defying the curfew order.  

He said that they have intensified patrols to ensure that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive is obeyed. He said that those arrested will be quarantined for 14-days at Kimalel centre at their own cost.

"We will arrest anyone who goes against the curfew order, no one will be spared. Those arrested will undergo mandatory quarantine for at least two weeks at a government facility at their own cost," said the boss commander.

He added that they have put in place all measures to ensure that things run smoothly until the curfew is suspended.

Mr Ipara told the public that the curfew is meant to contain the spread of the Covid-19 and not to punish them.