Police net thousands in Saturday night crackdown

By Collins Osanya
Sunday, April 18th, 2021
Curfew violators
Thousands of motorists were caught up in the Saturday, 17 April night crackdown on curfew violators.
In summary

Thousands of motorists and passengers were caught up in a Nairobi-wide night crackdown on curfew violators.

The operation was conducted on the night of Saturday, April 17, after police moved to enforce the 8 pm to 4 am curfew.

A number of major roads leading to the city centre such as Langata, Thika, Mombasa and Jogoo Roads had police roadblocks which grounded movement in and out of the city.

Sources privy to the Saturday night crackdown on curfew violators say police also put up roadblocks across several roads within the wider Nairobi area including Mwiki, Kasarani, Junction Mall and Shujaa Mall.

Other roadblocks during the night crackdown were mounted at the Coptic Hospital, Elgeyo Road, Arboretum Road and Kayole Junction.

A motorist caught up in the night crackdown along Thika Road posted a video of her self in the thick saying, "the police have blocked the road because it's past curfew time. They (police) have told us we will sleep on the road until 4 am."

Crowdsourcing traffic app Ma3Route revealed that traffic was backed up along Eastern bypass and Kangundo Road.

However, the motorists who were locked out of getting to their destinations got a repeieve after netizens protested on their behalf.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission in a statement critiqued the modus operandi of the government adding, " it's unconscionable that thousands of Kenyans have been prevented from reaching their homes in the pretext of curfew enforcement.

There is no excuse for punishing civilians because the government has failed to respond to the challenges facing Kenyans due to imposed restrictions."

Following an online outcry and protest, the stranded motorists were let go and traffic had cleared up in most of the roads by 12:00 AM.

The Saturday night crackdown came after interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi stated that the night curfew imposed on the five spreader counties will end on May 29.

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