BY PHILIP TIANDA
The Kenya/Tanzania border is finally closed, one day after the government issued a closure order is a bid to govern the spread of COVID-19.
President Uhuru Kenyatta issued the order on Saturday that immediately to effect on Sunday.
The border today remained a ghost town as personal cars and those carrying tourists kept off the normally vibrant border town of Namanga.
Immediately President Kenyatta closed its border with Tanzania, Tanzania’s head of State, John Magufuli, also closed the border with Kenya.
President Kenyatta’s order received mixed reactions from the residents of Namanga, with the majority of them supporting Kenya’s decision.
“I think it is a good gesture for Kenyans living in this border town. Going by the current development when cases of Coronavirus infection is rising each day in Namanga, our people were precariously placed,” said Alex Meritei.
Meritei, a resident and a practising Church priest in Namanga town said that after the closure he hopes to see reduced cases of infection at the border town.
“Our neighbouring country is not taking this pandemic seriously after their President poured cold water on the seriousness of the disease,” said Meritei.
But other residents of the border town are still weary on the conduct of distant truck drivers that move freely and mix with people as they await test results carried out by Kenyan doctors.
They claimed the results take “too” long to arrive from Nairobi, and in the process, the truck drivers use their free time to mingle with other people.
Benjamin Saisi, a Kenyan trader at the border town says drivers waiting for their test results should be quarantined by the government instead of allowing them to loiter around.
Daniel Tutui, an elder in the town, said if the spread is slowed, the entire community will get a reprieve as they remained under siege.
“The country needs to move on, the economy needs to be reactivated as people resume a normal way of living,” said Tutui.
Several residents, who spoke with KNU, said the move by the president to restrict non-essential travel is welcome.
“I have children living in Tanzania and I am going to be forced to communicate with them online instead of travelling over,” said Hassan Lindoo.