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Muslims won’t be allowed out past 7PM curfew, Uhuru rules as Ramadan set to begin



NAIROBI—President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday dismissed a proposal by Muslim leaders to push the curfew period from 7pm to 9 pm in a bid to allow faithfuls to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The fasting period, which is based on sighting of the crescent, is projected to begin on either Thursday or Friday.

President Kenyatta while ruling out extension of night curfew hours during Ramadhan to allow Muslims observe the holy month, cited high risk of COVID-19.

Muslim and elected leaders in Mombasa are calling on the government to adjust curfew hours during the Holy month of Ramadhan.

They want the curfew to be pushed to 10pm instead of 7pm.

The curfew, they say, will mostly affect the less fortunate because they normally break the fast at 7pm.

The leaders also want Muslims to be allowed to go to the mosques during Ramadhan, promising to follow all the preventative measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Among the leaders present in the address were Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki and Mvita MP Abdhulswamad Nassir among other Islamic leaders.

Senator Faki urged the government to ensure donations also reach mosques.

“We are urging the government to consider mosques so that believers who are fasting can get food,” Faki said.

Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya Secretary General Mohamed Khalifa also called for a reduction of electricity prices.

“We want Kenya Power to reduce its bills by 50 per cent,” Khalifa said.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe last week ruled out the possibility of the government reviewing the curfew hours to accommodate a request from the Muslim faithful who are preparing for the holy month of Ramadan.

Kagwe said the Muslim faithful should have to contend with the situation and celebrate Ramadan under the stipulated guidelines issued by the government, including the strict adherence of the 7pm to 5am.

As much as we are all religious and we would want to adhere to the rules, I think this one time we simply cannot afford to relax any rules whatsoever. If anything, we should be pushing the opposite direction and not backward,” he said on Saturday during a virtual meeting with the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on coronavirus.

Muslim leaders are yet to react to Uhuru’s dismissal of their request.


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