CLASH OVER SOCIAL DISTANCING

Cops teargas traders in Ahero market standoff

Some of the traders went to the market as usual on Tuesday but were sent away

In Summary
  • Officers lobbed tear gas canisters at traders as they fled the market to their homes
  • On Monday night officers engaged the traders in running battles at same market 
Kisumu Govenor Anyang Nyong'o
Image: FAITH MATETE

Police in Kisumu dispersed traders from Ahero market who defied orders by county government to close their businesses and stay at home.

Some of the traders went to the market as usual on Tuesday but were sent away by the officers implementing social distancing.

The officers lobbed tear gas canisters at the traders as they fled the market to their homes. On Monday night officers engaged the traders in running battles in the same market at 8pm.

The confrontation followed an outcry by residents and leaders that some people were failing to adhere to government directives in bid to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Police officers were seen along major streets in Kisumu on Tuesday where they directed traders along the streets to go home before 2pm or face the full wrath of the law.

Despite the closure of Kibuye open-air market and police officers tear-gassing the traders on Sunday, a section of traders continued to operate their businesses.

Police on Sunday dispersed traders from Kibuye as they enforced the ban.

Governor Anyang' Nyong'o last week banned all official market days to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Nyong'o said the closures will continue for three weeks and an announcement made after a review.

Some of matatus adhered to the government directive of not carrying more that eight passengers while others still carried even excess.

They passed police roadblocks without being stopped.

One of conductor was heard saying “It was tough for us in the morning; the officers were strict, but we can recover that in the evening”.

County commissioner Susan Waweru on Monday said police would take drastic measures to enforce the law.

She noted that in some areas there was still a lack of seriousness amongst the people about the health directives.

Edited by Henry Makori