Cur­few is hurt­ing our busi­nesses – traders

Say it de­prives them free­dom of wor­ship

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - LEWIS NYAUNDI @X_nyaun­diH

Traders in Man­dera say they have in­curred huge losses since the dawnto-dusk cur­few was im­posed. The gov­ern­ment or­dered the cur­few af­ter 18 peo­ple were killed in two ter­ror­ists at­tacks by al Shabaab in a span of three weeks in Oc­to­ber.

Man­dera busi­ness­man Has­san Mo­hammed said they close their busi­nesses as early as 4pm to beat the cur­few. “It starts at 6pm and we have to close our busi­nesses two hours early, since some of us live far away from our work premises,” he said.

Mi­raa traders said they have in­curred huge losses as khat is highly per­ish­able and is mostly sold in the even­ing and at night. “In the past few weeks ... I have had to throw away mi­raa ev­ery even­ing,” ven­dor Idris Ahmed said.

Res­i­dents said the cur­few de­prives them of the free­dom of wor­ship. “We can­not go to the mosque in the even­ing,” a res­i­dent who sought anonymity said.

Last week four lead­ers led by Gover­nor Ali Roba urged the gov­ern­ment to re­con­sider the ar­eas that the cur­few should be en­forced. They said it should be im­posed in crime-prone ar­eas.

“The cur­few has ex­tended to ar­eas that are not af­fected by at­tacks. We sup­port the gov­ern­ment’s move, but we re­quest that it is only en­forced in ar­eas prone to at­tacks,” Roba said.

The lead­ers ac­cused se­cu­rity of­fi­cers of ha­rass­ing res­i­dents who vi­o­late the cur­few. More than 60 peo­ple have been ar­rested and charged.

County com­mis­sioner Fredrick Shisia has said the cur­few will re­main in force for two months.

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