Governor Joseph Lenku has locked out Tanzanians in his county’s livestock markets owing to overblown new cases of Coronavirus in the neighbourhood.
Governor Lenku announced the ban on Saturday while on a tour of Loitokitok where he distributed free facial masks to residents in the Kajiado South Sub-County.
“No Tanzanian cattle will be allowed in Kajiado livestock markets in Namanga, Loitokitok, and Shompole border points. We have completely locked the border,” said Lenku.
Prior to the governor’s announcement, residents of Kajiado had accused Lenku of not closing down livestock markets, which they feel may help the spread of COVID-19.
The largest market at Bissil town on Athi River/Namanga road is in operation and until Saturday, Tanzanian and Nairobi traders have been buying and selling their livestock there.
Bissil town livestock market is estimated to about Sh500 million in liquidity on any busy market day and attracts business people from across the borders.
The town that was established in late 1800 has remained Kajiado’s leading livestock market and could be the leading in the country.
The first reported case of Coronavirus infection in Kajiado was reported on March 6 and residents of the county were expecting their governor to also close down all the livestock markets in the region as a way of controlling the spread of the pandemic.
Last week’s announcement that numbers of infection cases in Tanzania could be surpassing those in Kenya has raised concern for the people of Kajiado, who share a border with Tanzanians from Loitokitok to Namanga through Shompole, near Lake Natron.