The move by Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli to declare the country free of Coronavirus is greatly interfering with Kenya’s efforts to contain its spread in Migori County.
Kenya’s administration at the common border with Tanzania is reportedly finding it difficult to enforce health protocols, because of the fact that the two nations share members of the Luo and Kuria communities, who usually mingle freely in markets and villages.
It has become almost impossible, especially for the law enforcement agencies to deal with those flouting Covid-19 regulations, because of the difficulty in identifying Kenyans from Tanzanian nationals.
“We are in dilemma enforcing all the laid down rules virus regulations within villages and markets at the common borders because of the free-movements between the nationals of the two neighbouring States,” said a police officer who sought anonymity.
From Nyamtiro to Ntimaru, Mashangwe to Motemorabu and Kopanga to Muhuru Bay, just to mention a few, it has been business as usual.
A spot-check at Nyamtiro, a market shared by members of the Kuria community from Kenya and Tanzania, revealed that no Kenyan puts on face-masks largely due to influence by their counterparts from Tanzania where donning masks in public has been declared illegal by President Magufuli.
“We have found it useless covering our faces with these pieces of clothes yet our colleagues from Tanzania are roaming bare and telling us that the virus is not in their country,” said one Mwita Nyamohanga, a grocery trader.
Further investigations to acertain whether coronavirus protocols were being adhered to along the villages around the common border revealed all care had been thrown out of the window long time ago.
Migori County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich, who is chairing the local multi-agency committee on coronavirus control, said both the National and County Governments were jointly doing everything possible to deal with the virus despite the challenges faced at the common border.
“We are enforcing our mandates regardless of challenges that may be emanating from our Tanzania to in a bid to keep the virus at bay,” he said recently.
He said all the law enforcement agencies in the region must up their game in a bid to enforce Covid-19 protocols and arrest those flouting the rules. He urged Kenyans not to follow blindly the culture of the foreigners in regards to the virus. -KNA