President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday banned all road, rail and air travel into and out of the capital, Nairobi, and three other regions at the coast that are the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
His 40 minute address however left many Kenyans more confused than relieved that he was doing his best to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
The ban on movement into and out of Nairobi will be in place for 21 days starting Monday even as an earlier countrywide night curfew remains in place, he said.
Nzioka Waita, the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, was forced to clarify President Kenyatta's statement about movement 'within' Nairobi Metropolitan Area after it emerged many Kenyan were finding it difficult to interpret his remarks.
Please note :- Movement WITHIN the Nairobi Metro Area as defined in the Legal G.N. is PERMITTED subject to existing curfew,wearing of face masks & social distancing. What is PROHIBITED is movement IN TO & OUT OF the gazetted area for the period of 21 days effective 7.00pm tonight
- Nzioka Waita (@NziokaWaita) April 6, 2020
According to the restrictions, transport of food and other critical cargo will continue unimpeded in Nairobi, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa counties, Kenyatta said in a televised address.
"I issue these enhanced measures well aware that they will complicate and inconvenience many Kenyans," Kenyatta said. "By not doing so, this will only lead to greater suffering for Kenyans."
State House was also prompted, on their part, to issue a clarification on this too.
"As announced by the Head of State: Movement within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area is permitted except for the national curfew period of between 7pm and 5am. What is prohibited is the movement IN and OUT of the Gazetted areas for the period of 21 days effective 7.00pm tonight," it tweeted.
As announced by the Head of State: Movement within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area is permitted except for the national curfew period of between 7pm and 5am . What is prohibited is the movement IN and OUT of the Gazetted areas for the period of 21 days effective 7.00pm tonight. pic.twitter.com/AZ58PWUYuH
- State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) April 6, 2020
Majority of Kenyans who did not grasp the head of state's address took to twitter and raised their queries even as other attempted to explain what his remarks meant.
It's not possible to have a lockdown in Nairobi and Mombasa without comprehensive food distribution plan. I don't think President's statement was intended to announce a lockdown. Internal movement within Nairobi metropolitan area,Kilifi,Kwale&Mombasa is still on.
- KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H (@kipmurkomen) April 6, 2020
The president used so many words to say that you are not allowed in and out of Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi for the next 21 days and the curfew stays in place.
I have deleted the earlier confusion. I will try not to be as confused next time.
- Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) April 6, 2020
Those who went to school to study BSc in Geospatial Mapping, this is the time to draw for us the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Corona Map. We, the people who studied Being Around (BA), will thank you later.
- Gabriel Oguda (@gabrieloguda) April 6, 2020
One cannot argue that no one can move in or out of Nairobi County except goods because ALL GOODS are transported by human beings. There are no robots to transporting goods without human involvement. So, #LockDownKenya is nonsense on #Covid_19 stilts. #uhurumustgo
- Dr. Miguna Miguna (@MigunaMiguna) April 6, 2020
The president's statement addressed movement of any form of passengers transport, but was silent on private cars. Seems private cars are allowed in and out of Nairobi.
- MK (@Richard12698919) April 6, 2020
#LockDownKenya I think the Policemen will help Kenyans to interpret cessation of Movements within Nairobi Kilifi Kwale Mombasa as was in the Presser of President Uhuru Kenyatta #CoronaVirusKE #coronaviruskenya
- JANGIMA™ (@OukojohnJ) April 6, 2020
As it is it means that those who were allowed to move as per the curfew (essential services)will continue to move despite measure number 2 that seems to decree cessation of all movement within Nairobi
I don't think this is what the president intended. Measure 2 will be amended.
- eMaverick 🇰🇪 (@MwitiLegal) April 6, 2020
Me also trying to understand the terms "no movement within Nairobi metropol" and "cessation of movement" in Uhuru speech🤔🤔🤔🤔 so do i go to work or stay home 🤔🤔🤔. https://t.co/S81uKwJ2be
- Kala Matu (@Kala_matu) April 6, 2020
#COVIDー19 Can someone explain to me the 2nd part where the president said 'the cessation of movement within the Nairobi metropolitan area shall be for an initial containment period of 21 days with effect from... ..' Given the first part of 'in and out', this is confusing.
- DaviNKyi (@Davnk) April 6, 2020