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Lamu residents are 'prisoners' in their own homes

28 October 2014, 14:23 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Lamu residents say that the ongoing curfew imposed by the government has imprisoned them in their own homes.

The curfew, which has been in place the last four months from 6.30 PM to 6.30 AM has paralysed business and social activity in the County, which has a high dependance on tourism.

There has been pressure from different sectors to have the curfew removed by police, but Inspector General David Kimaiyo has dissented on the plea.

" The security operations in the County are still ongoing and we will not leave the area until it is done," he said last week after extending the curfew for a month.

Locals though are tired and feel that there is not much being achieved by police in the area and that the curfew is only there to cover the police and their lack of plan.

" The curfew is hurting us and we need it done away with, Juma Mnari a resident of Mpeketoni told News24. It is many months later and we are yet to see any meaningful arrests made over the matter," he said of the curfew.

They did so in a protest Tuesday over the curfew which has killed off any meaningful business.

Read also: Lamu residents protest curfew extension

" We are dying of hunger here. There is no business here. We are prisoners in our own homes, in our own existence, Isaac Ondieki", a boda boda operator says.

He says that since the curfew, majority of his business, which took place at night has disappeared and now he has to struggle to survive.

" It is now a struggle for survival. One that is imposed by the government".

According to CORD leader Raila Odinga, the curfew is an admission by the government that it cannot handle matters security and it has lost the war on terror.

" A curfew simply means that police are not good enough to take care of members of the public. It is a basic admission to that effect," he said over the weekend.

" The curfew is a death sentence for the people of Lamu and the government is overseeing it, which is sad to see," he added.

In the Tuesday protest, Lamu residents said they would defy the curfew if the government does not remove it soon, but authorities insisted that the curfew is needed in the area.

" We need the curfew to restore order in the area. Until we feel it is safe then we have to live with it," County Commissioner Miiri Njenga said.

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