While some disruption is expected to accompany US President Barack Obama’s arrival on Friday, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet says it’s no reason for Nairobi residents to go into panic mode.
Speaking after Nairobi County Commander Benson Kibue made public the roads that will be closed during the visit, Boinnet assured that the National Police Service would work to ensure that the disruption to Nairobi residents going about their business would be minimal.
He said there was therefore no reason for parents to fear sending their children to school on Friday.
“I wouldn’t advise you not to take you kids to school because he’s coming later on in the evening and the school day will be over. Any parent will perhaps be home at that time and the children.”
He said that provided those on the affected routes co-operated with the police, “the disruption to normal life will be as minimal as possible.”
Kibue on Wednesday morning identified Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way as the roads that would be most affected by President Obama’s visit.
“I am creating general awareness because of the real fact that there will be variations in the timings. But for Friday as from 2pm, you may not be able to use Waiyaki Way including Chiromo and Museum Hill roads up to late into the night. The following day of course will be a Saturday, there will be a lot of movement towards Thika Road and therefore the roads around there will experience some interruptions when it is absolutely necessary and that is why I emphasise that we need to oblige when our officers direct us to divert to a particular road.”
Kibue said he would deploy 10,000 officers to ensure security during President Obama’s visit with Boinnet reiterating that, “all security arrangements are in place.”
Boinnet however declined to confirm or deny reports that no flights to and from Somalia will be allowed onto Kenyan airspace during President Obama’s visit that begins Friday and ends Sunday when he leaves for Ethiopia.
The national carrier, Kenya Airways, has however confirmed that Kenyan airspace will be closed during Obama’s arrival on Friday and departure on Sunday.
Between 7.45pm and 8.35pm on Friday and 5.05pm on Sunday and 5.45pm on Sunday.