(President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing Kenyans at State House, Nairobi. Photo courtesy)
By Marion Kageni
6TH of June is finally here with us, so much expectations and hype about this day. Kenyans were hopeful that things will get back to normal, you know, bars to reopen, the curfew and cessation restrictions to be eliminated. Social media was literally on fire as Kenyans couldn’t hide their excitement on what they predicted about the president’s speech today. As the clock ticked in the afternoon 2 pm, the president was live on the screens of most Kenyans, but was what he had in stored for Kenyans good or bad news?
The president in his speech said that he was advised by experts not to go back to normal as it would endanger the lives of Kenyans and so he had made a decision to extend the curfew hours from 7pm to 9 pm in the evening and from 5 am to 4 am in the morning. He further directed the end of lockdown as of 7th of June on Sunday on towns such as Eastleigh in Nairobi and Old town in Mombasa. He added that bars will remain closed further for the next 30 days and schools to remain closed till September.A section of Kenyans were unsatisfied with the president’s announcement, of course they had expected things to go back to normal, bars and pubs to reopen and the curfew completely terminated. Kenyans took to social media to express their views on the president’s directive on the issue. Some felt it was a good thing and were very satisfied with what President Uhuru had to say. The section of Kenyans praised the President for putting the interest of Kenyans at heart during this tough times by remaining strict on going back to normal since the virus is still spreading and many Kenyans getting infected on a daily basis.
However, there were still some who felt they are being pressed to the wall. Staying at home especially if your town is still under lockdown is something far from being easy, it is frustrating and suffocating. The section of Kenyans highly hoped that the curfew would be terminated and businesses opened from the previous speech made by the president on reopening and learning to live with the virus.
It is good to keep in mind that the virus is very much present, the political tensions in the country or the protests from the US cannot wipe the fact that more and more Kenyans are getting infected every single day and as the president said things going back to normal will equate to endangering the lives of the citizens of Kenyans. Things are frustrating and depressing, with businesses going down and unemployment rates going up but all hope is not lost. At least for now, Kenyans can work for longer hours than in the previous months and the restrictions have easened up a little bit. Meanwhile stay safe, stay at home if you can, wash your hands with soap, sanitize, wear your mask and observe social distancing. Let me leave you with CS Mutahi Kagwe’s word “assume everybody is infected with the virus”, behave as you would if you assumed everyone is infected out there, stay safe.