, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – A section of Muslim Members of Parliament are now demanding that the government lifts the night-time curfew imposed on the residents of Lamu County.
Lamu Woman Representative Shakila Abdalla said the 6pm to 6am curfew has greatly affected businesses hampering development in the region.
“As the people of Lamu, our economy depends on the tourism and fishing; it is the President the other day who went to Europe to plead for the lifting of the travel ban (by some Western countries) and here we are putting a curfew on the tourist zones—what are we doing, is this double-standards?” posed Abdalla.
She added that the incidences of theft have increased since the residents are expected to be indoors 12 hours a day thus giving criminals a chance to wreck havoc.
“We want the minister (Cabinet Secretary for the Interior) to go the police station in Lamu and see the OB book, how many cases of theft have been reported—we want to be told what law do they use to impose this curfew and keep on extending it and what normalcy has it brought to the country?” Abdalla added.
The legislators further took issue with the fact that the curfew was only imposed in Lamu County yet there were many other parts of the country that had insecurity issues. The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) had last month threatened to take legal action on Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo if he extended curfew beyond October 23.
Mutua had argued that the curfew was violating the rights of Lamu residents to earn a living as well as their freedom to associate.
Kimaiyo however dismissed the threats and went ahead to extend the curfew.
Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow on his part maintained that the curfew was unlawful further lamenting that the government did not consult local leaders when making the decision.
“We have requested on many occasions here and in the House that as political leaders of these places where there are problems please involve us the community leaders in some of the actions you want to take so that we can help fight terrorism’” he said. “In Lamu there are leaders (yet) they are not involved in what is going on. Mandera there are political leaders (yet) six days after that incident, not a single MP from the area has been called to attend a security meeting…the President then says the security is with you, how is it with me when you do not involve me?” asked Kerrow.
Kerrow went on to accuse the government of abdicating the responsibility of providing security to the people by imposing the curfew.
“It then means that the government cannot guarantee the safety of the people of Lamu and that is why they are being told to lock themselves up in their rooms,” stated Kerrow.