, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 22 – Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has explained that his earlier order imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lamu County is still in force.
This follows a newspaper article that indicated he had retracted Sunday’s curfew order following a meeting with Muslim leaders led by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.
The IG says he only relaxed the curfew order to enable Muslims observing Ramadhan to work closely with the police who will allow them to go to mosques late in the evening or early morning.
“The Lamu County Security Committee, Muslims and political leaders today (on Monday) met IG for consultations and requested to be authorised to attend Ramadhan and evening prayers and also security arrangements. The IG was categorical that the curfew order he issued is still in force and Lamu residents are advised to observe the same,” read the statement from the IG’s office.
Kimaiyo points out that as stipulated in the Public Order Act, individuals can seek permission to be authorised to be in specific premises during such a curfew.
The Public Order Act says: “Every member of any class of persons specified in the curfew order, shall, except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a written permit granted by an authority or person specified in the curfew order, remain indoors in the premises at which he normally resides, or at such other premises as may be authorised by or under the curfew orders.”
The meeting between the IG and Muslim leaders, including Duale – who had urged Lamu Muslims to ignore the curfew – followed demonstrations by Lamu residents denouncing the curfew imposed by the Inspector General saying it disrupted Ramadhan prayers.
The curfew which remains in force until August 20 forbids residents from venturing outside their houses between 6.30pm and 6.30am.
The dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in Lamu following an attack on Friday that left seven people dead when a bus was hijacked by militants. Motorists travelling along the Garsen-Lamu Road had also been banned from night travel.
Lamu County Governor Issa Timamy, Duale and several Muslim leaders had opposed the curfew and urged Muslims in the area to ignore the order saying that they need time to attend prayers in the mosque especially during Ramadhan.