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COVID-19 The East Africa pandemic dilemma..

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COVID-19 The East Africa pandemic dilemma.. by Kenyans247(1): Tue 19, May, 2020 11:46pm
COVID-19

The East Africa pandemic dilemma..

On May 17th, Kenya decided to close its border with Tanzania. However it is still allowing trucks from wealthy business owners to enter the country, while denying, among others, bodaboda drivers used by the less wealthy.

The whole issue of lockdown seems to be miscalculated. Lockdown is a form of elitism. It is for those who can afford continue living life under lockdown, while for the majority of the poor, lockdown is a nightmare.

Take the example of a female market vendor in Kampala, who broke the lockdown restrictions in order to get out to sell her vegetables. She ended up being caught by the police and locked up. In Nairobi on April 16th, there were more deaths of civilians from being assaulted by the police than the actual virus.

And now, when Kenya unilaterally decided to close its border with Tanzania, it’s definitely the poor from both sides of the border who will end up suffering. We understand that the Kenyan Government will only allow trucks with drivers who have been tested for the Coronavirus to cross the border, but not other civilians. The trucks transportation business are only for those few wealthy enough that are able to afford it.

Has the Kenyan Government forgotten its own poor population whose livelihood depends on daily cross border business with their fellow East Africans? If not, why is it they are punishing the poor by limiting their business through these new regulations?

It could be wise for East African Leaders to agree on modality that will enable their citizens to continue doing business while taking precautions against the Coronavirus. This is due to the fact that no one knows when a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready or the availability of such a treatment.

Therefore, the East African leaders must accept and respect each countries strategies in combating COVID-19 and find a common ground on how to take precautions while allowing business across the borders to continue.

Maggid Mjengwa,
Dar Es Salaam.

PS: Nimewasilisha kwa king'eng'e ili jirani wasiseme hawatuelewi kwa Kiswahili!
kenyans247

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