Political gatherings banned for the next one month as Uhuru extends curfew

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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,12TH MARCH,2021-President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a ban on political gatherings for the next 30 days.

In a raft of measures seeking to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Head of State also extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew for a further 60 days.

“The escalation or de-escalation of the containment measures in regard to prohibition of political gatherings is dependent on whether the national endeavor to break the chain of transmissions will have been achieved,” he said on Friday.

Speaking at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta announced the first Public Order of 2021.

He explained that because the country is grappling with the third wave of coronavirus, it was necessary to escalate preventive measures.

The President acknowledged that political gatherings have exposing Kenyans to risk of contracting the virus since social distancing was not adhered to.

“To secure the implementation of the order on political gatherings, public ceremonies, I, hereby further direct the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) jointly with the National Police Service and county government enforcement officers to strictly enforce this Public Order regardless of the social and political status of the conveners of the political gatherings,” he said.

As a result of the curfew extension, restaurants, bars and other establishments which are open to the public will be still expected to close businesses by 9pm.

President Kenyatta on Friday directed the relevant agencies to enforce compliance to the dusk to dawn curfew.

Establishments that provide essential services that have employees working on double shift have however been exempted from the curfew.

“To provide business continuity during the containment period, exemption on the application of curfew is hereby granted to essential services providers, factories and construction sites to operate night shifts,” the President added.

He opined that even though Kenya has lost at least Ksh. 560billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is on track to grow its economy by 7 percent in 2021.

“Projections indicate that, in spite of the COVID-19 plunge, our economy is likely to bounce back and grow 7% in 2021. If we had not made the bold decisions of 2020, as is projected, our economy would, in 2021 contract by 15%. This would be worse than the Euro Area, -7.2%; India, -11.5%; and the United Kingdom, -10%,” he added.

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