'I am urging all residents to take seriously the directive issued by the government for the sake of their lives. The disease is real'
Police in Kisii on Monday dispersed traders and customers from the Daraja Mbili market to enforce orders by Governor James Ongwae that markets be closed.
The traders had turned up for their business as usual despite the ban to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Ongwae last week ordered the closure of all markets in the county as a measure to control Covid-19 spread.
But the traders engaged police in running battles before finally suspending their businesses and leaving the market.
Some said they had acquired loans and had to sell their goods to repay.
Speaking to the Star on phone, Ongwae told residents to take seriously the directives given for the sake of their lives.
“I am urging all residents to take seriously the directive issued by the government for the sake of their lives. The disease is real,” Ongwae said.
Meanwhile, matatus playing various routes have raised their charges due to the directive by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe that a 14-seater matatu carries a maximum of eight passengers.
James Nyangaresi who operates in a matatu plying the Kisii-Kisumu route said they had increased charges from Sh400 to Sh600. He said the excess would cater for sanitisers and the empty seats.
Passengers travelling from Kisii to Busia were forced to pay Sh1,200 in fare up from Sh800 while those travelling to Nakuru were charged Sh700 up from Sh600.
Samwel Nyamima, an operator with Ena Coach, whose fleet of matatus operates between Kisii and Nyamira said the price of fuel was high and they had no option but to increase fares.
Passengers travelling from Kisii to Ogembo were charged Sh100 up from Sh70 while those heading to Nyamache were forced to pay an additional Sh50 for the Sh150 journey.
Last Friday, Kagwe also directed 25-seater matatus to carry 15 and buses whose sitting capacity is 30 and above to have 60 per cent occupancy.
The CS said sacco licences would be revoked if matatus are found in non-compliance with the regulations.
edited by peter obuya