President Kenyatta announced the night curfew effective Friday, March 27, to the entire territory of Kenya. Public gatherings or movement between 7:00 pm (16.00 GMT) and 5:00 am (02.00 GMT) were prohibited except those offering essential services.
President Kenyatta admitted that his government is facing a difficult time as it juggles efforts to keep the COVID-19 transmission rates down while upholding the rights of its citizens or propping a collapsing economy.
Kenya has to date recorded 31 cases of the COVID-19 since the first case was reported early in March. Other African nations which have imposed similar curfew steps in efforts against the virus are South Sudan, South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, and Uganda.
Violating the curfew will be met with imposing a Kenyan Sh 10,000 ($96) fine, 3-month imprisonment, or both if the offender is arrested by security forces, Kenyan authorities said.
The Kenyan government’s move comes as more countries across the world had restricted and controlled movements of their people as the only way to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in their populations.
Police mounted road blocks across Kenyan to reinforce restrictions of movement of vehicles at night.
Chaos ensued on Friday after hundreds of Kenyan residents confronted police shortly before the curfew hours began.
There was desperation as only a few public service vehicles were available, forcing many people to camp outside buildings waiting for means of transport, braving heavy rains which hit parts of Kenya.
Several motorists who failed to beat the curfew deadline were arrested at roadblocks.
Kenya media reported police brutality marked with beatings of people who were rushing to catch public transport and those who were late to close down business as the curfew started.