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Government tightens noose on mass movement

By Fred Aminga
Friday, April 10th, 2020
Security officers man a roadblock at Lari area on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway Photo/PD/TABITHA MBATIA
In summary
    • Through the Public Health (COVID-19 Restriction of Movement of Persons and Related Measures) Rules 2020, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said during the restriction period, all public transport services will be affected.

The government has through a gazette notice put in place stringent measures to curtail movement of people, goods and services to curtail spread of corona virus amid ambiguities in the notice.

Through the Public Health (COVID-19 Restriction of Movement of Persons and Related Measures) Rules 2020, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said during the restriction period, all public transport services will be affected.

This includes passenger rail services, bus services, matatu services, taxicab services, motorcycle services, tricycle services, e-hailing services and private cars.

However, passenger rail services, buses, matatus, taxicabs and e-hailing cab shall not carry more than 50 per cent of their licensed capacity. Motorcycles shall carry only one passenger while bicycles shall carry only the rider.

The penalties for flouting any of the gazetted rules -- including failure to wear a "proper" face mask -- are: fine of up to Sh20,000, and a jail term of between one 1 day and 6 months.

“Of course, these penalties are pursuant to a finding of guilty by a competent court. The police are empowered by the rules to detain your vehicle for the period of containment pending your arraignment in court,” said law lecturer Dr. Eneos Nyakundi.

Nyakundi further noted that for private vehicle motorists, it is an offence to carry more than 50 per cent of the licensed capacity - the licensed capacity number of passengers ranging between 5 and 7 people.

“What is 50 per cent of 5 or 7, since we do not have half humans?” he observed in what could be an ambiguity in the interpretation of matter.

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