SATURDAY BLOCKADE

Why risk losing lives in the name of enforcing the curfew?

In Summary

• What could have necessitated the government to make such a horrible decision at such a time in the name of implementing the curfew?

• The blockade happened despite the government assuring healthcare workers that they are allowed to travel anywhere at any time despite the lockdown rules.

Nairobi motorists were on Saturday night stranded as police blocked major roads over curfew time
Nairobi motorists were on Saturday night stranded as police blocked major roads over curfew time

     

What was witnessed along Nairobi's major roads on Saturday night was saddening and frustrating. Ambulances being denied access on the Thika Superhighway for critically ailing patients being rushed to hospitals, all because of the roadblock erected by the National Police Service was a foolish thing to do.

It is harrowing to think of what reason could have necessitated the government to make such a horrible decision at such a time in the name of implementing the curfew. The blockade happened despite the government assuring healthcare workers, who are listed as essential service providers, that they are allowed to travel anywhere at any time despite the lockdown rules.

That notwithstanding, the manner in which police handled motorists on Kangundo road was another key highlight. It was inhumane! Why throw teargas canisters and use water cannons on motorists whose only crime is getting stuck in traffic?

It is a pity that such stringent measures are being used by the government through the police amidst the pandemic. The public has raised several complaints over the years on the need for the police service to be lenient and considerate on certain circumstances affecting the common mwananchi. Saturday's events are among the many instances where considerations and exceptions should have been made, especially for essential service providers, more so healthcare providers.

Had these considerations been made, who knows the number of human lives that could have been saved that night?

Bildad Makori, Nairobi