BUSINESS AS USUAL

Police and county askaris accused of not enforcing Kiraitu's closure of markets and social places

Gakoromone market traders were unbothered with the governor's directive

In Summary

• Kiraitu has banned public gatherings in recreational parks and cancelled market business on Fridays, Wednesdays and Mondays.

• While some traders had handwashing facilities and soap, others had none despite more coronavirus cases reported on Sunday.

 

 

 

It was business as usual in Meru markets and social places on Monday despite Governor Kiraitu Murungi's directive to close them in efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

This was blamed on the laxity of the police and county inspectorate officers. Recreational parks were also busy. Some bars and restaurants were also open.

 

A spot check by the Star showed that Gakoromone market was as busy as ever with traders unbothered by the governor's directive.

While some traders had handwashing facilities and soap, others had none.

Joseph Bundi accused the Kiraitu administration of not being serious in the implementation of the directive.

He said hawkers were all over despite the risk of exposure to the virus.

“The county government should have put water tanks in strategic areas at the bus stage for people to wash hands. Police and enforcement officers are asleep. There is nothing like keeping distance in the market. It is overcrowded,” Bundi said.

Kiraitu has banned public gatherings in recreational parks and cancelled market business on Fridays, Wednesdays and Mondays. (These are the official market days.) He has also ordered the closure of night clubs, discos and all stadiums for 30 days. 

Traders complained of slow business. Onions and potatoes seller Sicilia (she chose to give only one name) said she buyers had kept away and feared she might not have enough money to sustain her family.

“We even fear the market will be closed indefinitely leaving us in poverty. I feed my children and grandchildren with what I get daily. Where will I sell if the market is closed?” she asked.

She had a container of hand-washing water but there was no soap.

Meru county commissioner Allan Machari and county Health executive Misheck Mutuma were unavailable for comment. None of them picked our calls.