Hundreds stranded as movement ban takes effect

Written By: Margaret Kalekye
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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order stopping movement in and out of Nairobi Metropolitan area came into force Monday at 7pm.

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Police swung into action and set up roadblocks at various points to stop movement as directed.

Several passengers and motorists were left stranded after they were blocked from entering and leaving Nairobi county after 7pm.

The situation was chaotic along Kangundo road at Kamulu area the boundary between Nairobi and Machakos county.

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Kangundo road has been experiencing exceptional growth due to the proximity of the area from Nairobi CBD. It is home to many middle class owners who reside in Malaa, Joska, and Koma areas outside the Nairobi metropolis and commute to Nairobi daily.

Public transport operators are also crying foul saying the decision was rushed and would render them jobless.

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They appealed to the government to cushion them from the Covid-19 effects through the stimulus package.

On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned movement in and out of Nairobi County and three coastal counties to contain the spread of the novel COVID-19.

Movement within Nairobi and the three Coast counties shall continue subject to the nationwide curfew

The ban has also disrupted local travel and domestic flights. The Kenya Railways has suspended all passenger trains on the SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi in conformity with the President’s directive.

“The two Madaraka Express trains that operated daily at 10.30am between Nairobi and Mombasa have been withdrawn forthwith,” said KR boss Philip Mainga in a statement.

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Passengers who had purchased tickets prior to Monday’s directive will receive refunds.

The Madaraka Express and Metre Gauge Railway Freight Services will continue uninterrupted.

Nairobi Commuter Rail service to Ruiru, Embakasi, Syokimau and Kikuyu stations which lie within Nairobi metropolitan area will continue to operate normally.

Local cost carrier Jambojet , a brand of the national carrier Kenya Airways has complied and halted operations for the next 21 days.

“We therefore regret to inform all our customers and business partners that all the flights for the said period are cancelled with immediate effect” said the airline in a statement.

Passengers have been advise to reschedule their travel plans.

“We would like to encourage all passengers scheduled to travel within the month of April 2020, to consider re-scheduling their travel plans to a later date at no extra cost. The value   of these tickets will remain valid for a period of 12 months from 7 April” said the airline.

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The Nairobi Metropolitan Area has been designated as Nairobi City County, part of Kiambu County up to Chania River Bridge (Thika), including Rironi, Ndenderu, Kiambu Town; Part of Machakos County up to Athi-River, including Katani; Part of Kajiado County including Kitengela, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and Ngong Town.

“Any person, passenger-carrying bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, automobiles, vehicles, vessels, railway wagons or air crafts shall not be allowed in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and the counties of Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa,” he said.

Movement of food supplies and other cargo will continue as normal during the declared containment period through road, railway and air with only one driver and designated assistants.

 

 

 

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