NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has criticized the government’s decision to impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 which has infected 38 people in the country.
The ANC leader has particularly condemned the brutality meted on members of the public by police officers enforcing the order since the curfew took effect saying it pointed government’s failure to plan for the curfew .
“There is a gap between policy formulation and policy implementation, the brutality is a reflection of a failure of the government, Curfews are not just planned and implementation unless you are dealing with a hostile community,” he said during a news conference on Saturday.
The government imposed the curfew in new guidelines aimed at combating the spread of the novel corona virus which has so far claimed a 66-year-old patient in Kenya.
Mudavadi said curfew should only be used in cases where government is dealing with a hostile environment in a sudden and disruptive situation.
“There is a clear failure, on the part of government, as citizens we call upon them to get back to drawing board,” Mudavadi said.
Several human rights group have also condemned the use of excessive and unnecessary force by the police since the country imposed the curfew Friday, March 27.
“We call upon the National Police Service Inspector General to restrain his officers from using teargas to avoid the spread of COVID- 19.The police actions completely betrayed the specific responsibility bestowed upon them,” a statement issued Saturday by the group which included Amnesty International and Katiba Institute read.
The Law Society of Kenya has vowed to go to court to challenge the government’s move which it says is unconstitutional. The law society has also cited incidents of police excesses.
“It is evident that COVID-19 will be spread more by actions of police than of those claimed to have contravened the curfew,” LSK President Nelson Havi said in a statement on Thursday.
Several countries in Africa have also imposed the dusk-to-dawn curfew including Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. South Africa announced a complete lockdown.
Most other countries have imposed travel restrictions including on their citizens.