By Calvin Osiemo
After the High Court in Malindi ruled the Lamu curfew as illegal; Mpeketoni, Kibaoni, Hindi and Witu mainland have a reason to smile after the night curfew was lifted. The residents who have been subjected to ten months under curfew enjoyed the weekend without sanctions from police officers as they celebrated into the night. Most residents had complained about the economic sabotage the curfew had imposed on the area as it had affected many socio-economic activities that are usually conducted in the night.
Delivering the ruling on Friday, Judge Said Chitembwe termed the curfew as unlawful and unnecessary. The curfew had been introduced following a series of attacks that took place in different parts of the country. Residents who spoke to journalists regarding the lifting of the curfew expressed their joy as they had the freedom they had longed for.
“You couldn’t walk around beyond 6:30 pm without being questioned or arrested by police. Since Friday, no one would question you even if you are found walking at 9pm. What I have experienced so far is the increased security patrols on the roads, particularly by the Kenya Defense Forces soldiers,” said one of the residents.
However, it has emerged that some residents still abide by the rule as they fear being arrested by security officers
“We heard about the court decision on the Lamu curfew. However, many of us still remain indoors as from 6:30PM to 6:30AM. We are not sure whether the security officers have accepted the court order,” said another resident.
Leaders in the area have also welcomed the move to lift the curfew by the High Court. Led by Lamu west Member of Parliament Julius Ndegwa, he applauded the move and termed the curfew as unconstitutional.
“At least our people will now carry on with their activities and fully enjoy their freedom. Ten months of curfew was too long,”Ndegwa said.