As expected COVID -19 continued to dominate the national news with the virus cases continuing to increase drastically across the country. The month of July recorded more than a 14k increase in Covid-19 cases compared to a 4k increase in June. Kenya crossed the 20k mark on July 31st with a total of 4,404 new cases, 16 new deaths, and 44 new recoveries. There was also an increase in recoveries, from 1,565 in June to 6,082 in July most of whom were under the home-based care program. The government also increased the number of tests done in a day culminating in a total of 303,959 tests done by end July. The African continent also recorded a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases with more than 900K cases so far. South Africa is leading in the continent and fifth position globally with more than 450K confirmed cases. Kenya is currently in the seventh position in Africa up from position 17 in June. Global deaths closed at 679K while recoveries closed at 10M.
Following tribal clashes in several parts of Nakuru county, the county Regional Commissioner announced a 7pm-7am curfew in Njoro, Mau Narok and Elburgon to tame ethnic clashes after 5 people had been killed and close to 200 structures torched. Over a dozen injured people have been admitted to the referral hospital.
No resident is expected to carry any offensive weapon including bows, arrows or machetes in the named areas.
Increased police presence has restored some level of normalcy and with the governor reaching out to the both sides of the conflict it is expected that peace and dialogue may be given a chance.
Anaysis: Nakuru County is dominated by two ethnic communities which have learnt to live together despite occasional flare-ups cases of ethnic clashes which normally are resolved amicably. This present case is therefore not an exception, what makes it particularly galling is that the two warring communities are bearing an additional health burden due to the COVID -19.
A PROBE AT A CONSULATE
The Kenyan government is to dispatch a fact-finding mission to the Lebanon consulate to look into reports of mistreatment of Kenyans working in Lebanon. The probe comes after the Cable News Network (CNN), documented cases of multiple Kenyan women working as domestic workers in the country being verbally abused and physically assaulted by Kenya’s Honorary Consul in Lebanon, Sayed Chalouhi, and his assistant Kassem Jaber who are both Lebanese nationals.
The accounts paint a picture of a Kenyan consulate in Lebanon that grossly neglects its country’s largely female group of expats, regularly overcharging them for essential consular fees and acting with impunity as they physically and verbally punish women who try to call out their abuses of power.
A Beirut-based migrant rights group, the Anti-Racism Movement, also added to calls that a probe was necessary following several complaints by several women based in the country.
Whereas, Kassem Jaber, the assistant consul, denied all allegations of wrongdoing at the consulate, the consular Mr. Chalouhi did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
Analysis: Cases of African domestic workers being mistreated in some Arabic and Asian countries is no longer headline news. What is baffling is that the Kenyan foreign affairs ministry is reacting only after the expose by CNN.
A breakdown of some notable crime trends in July were as follows:
Homicide – There was a 10% increase in the number of homicide related cases reported in the month of July compared to June. Most of these cases involved people known to each other in their residential areas, followed by tribal and clashes generally regarding boundaries
Arrests – There has been a notable increase in the number of arrests being made. This is attributed to the efforts of the police force in collaborating with agencies such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Judiciary in bringing culprits to book.
Theft – This past month saw the reporting of a number of burglaries. Schools, in particular have been left exposed following inactivity due to closures attributed to COVID-19.
Defilements – July saw several cases of defilements. Majority of the reported cases involved children between the ages of 9 and 14 years old. The rise of these cases have been attributed to the closure of schools, which has had children spending a lot of time with their abusers, who are often people known to them.
Sexual assaults – Cases of sexual assaults were high in the month of July. Majority of the sexual assault-related incidents were mainly committed by people that wielded more power as compared to their victims. It was also noted that there was an increase in the cases of female genital mutilation. While there has been a steady rise in the number of reported cases, there is a high possibility of a lot more as majority of sexual offences not only go unreported but also undocumented.
Analysis- While homicide was the most committed crime in the month of July, there was a spike in defilements, fires, sexual assaults and physical assaults as outlined above. The trend is bound to continue as the economic situation remains stagnant.
The month of August is likely to be dominated by rising cases of COVID-19 and the major economic drawbacks. Despite the opening of the international skies, the economic situation is not likely to improve in the short term, it is expected that cases of Job losses are bound to persist and with it increased cases of petty theft, clashes and burglary.