Commuters, matatu operators arrested in Mombasa for breaking COVID-19 rules


Commuters, matatu operators arrested in Mombasa for breaking COVID-19 rules
File photo of man in handcuffs.

Scores of commuters and matatu operators were on Tuesday morning arrested in Mombasa after police launched a crackdown on those flouting COVID-19 regulations.

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According to Changamwe police boss Joseph Kavoo, over 100 public service vehicles were impounded during the dawn raid.

“The occupants of the vehicles have been taken to the Changamwe Police Station,” he said.

The police boss explained that the commuters had no masks and the vehicle operators had not provided them with water and soap to wash their hands.

He said that they will be arraigned in court later on Tuesday and charged with flouting public health rules.

All public transport users are required to wear masks that must cover the mouth and nose as part of the measures announced by the Health Ministry to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Kenya.

Every organization, business entity, trader or vendor is also expected to provide either water and soap to customers or an alcohol-based sanitizer approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

“A person who commits an offence under these Rules shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh. 20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both,” the Gazette notice reads.

Further, the notice states that anyone found flouting the regulations will have their vehicle detained at a police station or any other place that the IG designates pending arraignment in court and/or for the duration of the restriction period.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of commuters were stranded amidst the heavy downpour following the matatu crackdown.

Mombasa county officials recently expressed concern over the growing numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

The County Governor Ali Hassan Joho warned that county officers may have to re-enforce stringent measures should the situation become worse.

“I urge you, the people of Mombasa, if you want us to do well on COVID-19 please wear your mask when you are close to people,” he told Mombasa residents during the Mashujaa Day celebrations.

Kenya’s coronavirus caseload currently stands at 49,997 with death toll from the disease at 920.

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Story By George Aoko
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