• Kitui Central police commander Wilson Abduba Waqo said the security officers had no choice but to disperse the crowd.
• A section of dissatisfied Kabati women traders spread their bananas outside the market and started selling but the police convinced them to leave.
Kalundu market traders were teargassed on Monday after they defied Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu's directive to stay away in efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Ngilu on Thursday banned all activities on market days in the county. The national government on Sunday outlawed all social gatherings.
Monday is a market day in Kalundu, Kitui West and Nguni in Mwingi Central. Yesterday, traders and buyers trooped into the markets undeterred.
But the police were at hand and lobbed teargas at the traders who scampered for dear life. They had defied orders to disperse peacefully.
Police, armed with guns and truncheons, kept vigil to ensure the mob did not regroup.
Kitui Central police commander Wilson Abduba Waqo said the security officers had no choice but to disperse the crowd.
“The information on the banning of market days was communicated through radios, TVs and newspapers. People must obey the orders given that it is for their own good,” Waqo said.
At Kabati market, security officers led by the Kitui West police commander Philip Kerich ordered the traders to disperse peacefully.
A section of dissatisfied women traders spread their bananas outside the market and started selling but the police convinced them to leave.
It was the same case at Nguni market although market chairman Celcius Mwangele condemned the police action.
“We were not notified either by the county government or national government officers about the banning of market days. This is an ambush and a serious violation of people's rights. It is unfair,” Mwangele said by phone.
He, however, praised police officers for not using violence to disperse the traders.