Police officers in Mandera County have arrested a bus driver accused of transporting 61 passengers from Nairobi, in defiance to President Uhuru Kenyatta cessation of movement directive.
President Kenyatta banned movement into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties, where majority of cases of the deadly coronavirus have been reported.
And on Thursday, Mandera Governor Ali Roba ordered a lock down following two positive cases of the Covid-19 disease and the isolation of at least 30 of their close contacts.
Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kytha said the Makka bus was intercepted at Elwak town in Mandera South after arriving at about 8pm.
He said 61 all the passengers who travelled in that bus were quarantined in Elwak at their own expense for 14 days.
“We are holding a driver we suspect has been involved in transportation of passengers from Nairobi despite the government’s directives. We shall charge him,” said Mr Kyatha.
“This bus company has continued to defy laid down directives. We shall seek the intervention of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) in dealing with it since it is putting many lives at risk.”
The arrest came after Governor Roba raised concerns about continued travel between Nairobi and Mandera.
“Despite the ban on travel to and from Nairobi, we are reliably informed that unscrupulous transporters have positioned themselves in strategic places outside Nairobi and still embark on travel to Mandera,” he said on Thursday.
It is the same Makka bus that transported the two people who later tested positive for the virus, leaving the local administration struggling to trace all the other passengers.
It is also said that a number of passengers alighted in Wajir town, Kutulo, Borehole 11, Elwak, Wargadud, Bambo, Rhamu and Hareri.
Some of those who boarded between Wajir and Mandera reported alighted in the countryside on their way to cattle and camel ranches.
But Mr Kyatha said, “We have managed to trace 90 per cent of the 33 passengers who arrived in Mandera on April 1. They are all in quarantine waiting testing.”