Two Cousins Beat Lockdown to Reach Kisii on a Motorbike

An undated image of a police vehicle at a scene of a crime
A police vehicle pictured at a scene of a crime

Two cousins caused frightened villagers in Kisii after managing a daring escape from Nairobi to Kisii using a motorbike.

The two cousins Mr Joshua Kerage and Mr Joseph Ratemo got tired of the city life after going broke due to the lockdown declared in Nairobi. They set off on a 315-kilometre journey to their motherland in Kerera, Kisii County using a motorbike to evade and hide from the police along the way.

“There was no need for me to continue staying locked in a house yet I didn’t have anything to eat. So I decided to come back home,” Mr Kerage said.

A health officer screens a clergyman for a rise in temperature at StateHouse, Nairobi on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
A health officer screens a clergyman for a rise in temperature at StateHouse, Nairobi on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

After making elaborate plans the two agreed to meet at Kerage's residence in Embakasi and on the morning of Saturday, April, 18th they set off on their journey using a motorbike. They elected to use hidden routes to evade police roadblocks and checkpoints, arriving at their Chirichiro home in Kerera at around noon.

The seven-hour journey costing Ksh800 on fuel did not turn out well for the two as they had anticipated. The whole village was thrown into panic after hearing of their arrival from the capital city which is now a hotspot and an epicentre for the spread of coronavirus.

Following the panic and possible threat of contracting Covid-19, the villagers alerted Haron Mosomi, assistant chief of the area, who in turn alerted the Assitant County Commissioner Joshua Muthoka, who went to the village with health officials to screen the two.

“I got information from locals that two relatives, who have been staying in Nairobi had managed to arrive here despite the government’s directive of cessation of movement of people in and out the capital. One of them is a boda boda operator in Embakasi estate while the other lives in Kayole,” said the administrator.

The two have since been put in forced quarantine at their homes with family members whom they had come into contact with.

Kerage lamented on how the virus has affected his business within the city and that why he thought of the idea to head back to the village.

According to Kerage, they encountered four roadblocks at Limuru, Narok, Bomet and the last one at Keroka, at the border of Kisii and Nyamira counties. None of the officers asked them where they were from or going to, with police officers only screening, and letting them pass.

The incident highlights how officers have been lax in enforcing the partial lockdown directive declared to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Last week a quarantine escapee from the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) Nairobi, managed to reach Kericho town from Nairobi using a matatu, only to surrender to police after residents turned on him.

A medical personnel holding a Covid-19 virus test kit.
File image of a Covid-19 testing kit.