Security intensified in Nairobi as Obama jets in
24 July 2015, 15:14
Nairobi – Security has been intensified in all corners of Nairobi’s city centre and its outskirts as US President Barack Obama jets in this evening.
Heavily armed security officers from different units including the Military, Traffic, Administration Police in addition to the National Youth Service officers among others are carrying out intensive patrols, some on foot, others in police vehicles and yet others on motor bikes.
Security officers are also strategically placed to man government premises such as ministry buildings, Parliament, the Kenyatta International Conference Center and major five-star hotels among other important premises.
Most Nairobians gave themselves a public holiday despite the government’s objection to grant them the requested rest as the city remains deserted following the Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet’s earlier announcement that there will be traffic disruptions with the closure of main roads from Friday afternoon.
Boinnet earlier this week also announced the deployment of 10 000 security officers from various police units as reinforcement to the reported 13 000 US police present in the country to ensure security is beefed up.
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Normal business within the city center was at standstill Friday morning except a few shopping centers and financial institutions that announced to offer services to their customers until noon.
There were a few vehicles for both public and private on roads leading to the city centre. Majority of public service vehicle operators withdrew their matatus from the road and the few operating have increased fare charges for commuters.
Nairobians had earlier been warned to expect interference with their normal daily business as Obama jets in until the Sunday when Obama leaves for Ethiopia.
There have been mixed reaction from Nairobians to Obama’s visit, with some being optimistic that his opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit will attract more investors to the country and promote close ties between Kenya and US.
Those concerned about the visit were worried that it would unnecessarily interfere with their businesses with others criticizing his stand on promoting gayism and even warned him against speaking about it in the country because the practice contravenes local laws, culture and God’s will.
It is the first time Obama is touring his homeland as US President and his third in Africa after Ghana and Tanzania.
When he was sworn in as US President in 2009, Obama promised to visit Kenya before relinquishing power and the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi is the fulfilment of his promise.
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