Murang’a County Governor Mwangi wa Iria has sensationally claimed that long distance truck drivers, who are not affected by the intercounty travel ban, have been carrying passengers in gunias so that they (passengers) manage to pass roadblocks erected at different cut-off points towards and out of Nairobi.
Speaking on Tuesday, April 14, at a market in Murang’a Town where he distributed thousands of face masks to residents, wa Iria said cargo transporters and fresh farm produce transporters are notorious for “hiding travellers in gunias”.
“You’d find a police officer flagging down a lorry, and when he inspects what is carried in the cargo area of the heavy commercial vehicle, he finds people stashed in gunias like commodities. Some of those lorries are supposed to be transporting fresh farm produce. So a law enforcement officer thinks the driver is transporting groceries, but when he unwraps one of the gunias to see what is inside, he finds a human being. That is not right,” said Mwangi wa Iria.
The county chief also called out a crop of politicians and tycoons who travel into and out of Nairobi at will by bribing or threatening police officers.
“You wear a big hat, drive a [Toyota] Prado and threaten law enforcement officers with unspecified consequences if they don’t let you pass the roadblock. You’re boasting, yet you are carrying coronavirus in that Prado. Ordinary Kenyans who use matatus are obeying the directives,” said wa Iria.
The governor said despite the few people who manage to flout the travel ban directive, a bulk of Kenyans are observant of the edict.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 6 banned movement into and out of Nairobi to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.
That directive was extended to Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties. The travel ban in the three counties, however, was implemented on April 8.