- The Standard
Hundreds of residents in Eastleigh, Nairobi came out to picket on Monday, May 11, and engaged police in cat and mouse games as they demanded relief food.
The residents carried placards and faced off with police manning the area's perimeter to enforce the cessation of movement order imposed on Wednesday, May 6.
They demanded that the government deliver to the residents relief food, as the order had made it impossible for them to fend for themselves with many going hungry.
A source within the Eastleigh Business Community who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke, Ahmed Mohammed aka Asmali, revealed that many of those who picketed began the protest early in the morning, explaining that they were frustrated.Residents gathered for a protest in Eastleigh on May 11, 2020Citizen Digital
He disclosed that a majority of those who came out for the protest were boda boda riders and other low-income earners who had been greatly impacted by the cessation of movement order.
"The protest began in the morning. You know, these people earn a living in Eastleigh. There were a lot of boda boda riders and small traders there because they have been affected by the cessation order.
"They are demanding that the government begins distributing relief food to cushion households because people are going hungry. Because of the order, these people are unable to earn a living," Asmali noted.
He called for the government to hear the protesters' cry and put in place measures to ensure no one in Eastleigh slept hungry due to the cessation of movement order.
"I think it is obvious that right now, people are hungry, and they are out of work. Because of the pandemic and the cessation order, a lot of residents here simply cannot earn a living which is why there is a sense of frustration.
"I don't know if there has been any communication from authorities on whether they will provide the relief food, but it is definitely the right thing to do. People are not working and they cannot leave Eastleigh so what do you expect them to eat?" he posed.Police watch from a distance as residents protest in Eastleigh, Nairobi on May 11, 2020
Asmali revealed that while the protest lasted for a few hours, it was already done by midday with things in the area going back to normal.
"They started in the morning, but by now things are very quiet in Eastleigh," he noted. Many of the hand-written placards carried by the protesters read 'We want food'.
The government had issued the cessation of movement orders for Eastleigh and Old Town in Mombasa after a surge in confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the two areas.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had announced that the order would be in effect for 15 days from Wednesday, March 6.
Kagwe also directed the closure of markets, eateries and restaurants as well as the cessation of public transport services in the area for the period.Residents gathered for a protest in Eastleigh, Nairobi on May 11, 2020Citizen Digital
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