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Roads in city centre blocked over fresh terror threats

Security around key government installations in Nairobi has been beefed up following increased terrorist threats.

Police blocked some roads leading to government buildings and were only allowing authorised vehicles to pass.

According to the Interior ministry, special focus is on installations within the “Government Square” which includes Harambee House, Harambee House Annex, Parliament buildings, Kenyatta International Convention Centre, and the Treasury.

Others are the Central Bank, Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters, Nairobi County Hall and Nyayo House, among others.

The Interior ministry’s Strategic Communications Director Mwenda Njoka on Thursday said the measures are in compliance with international best practice worldwide where there is limited and controlled access to certain key installations.

All access points to the convention centre, Protection House, Harambee House, Ukulima House, County Hall, Continental House and the main Parliament buildings are now controlled by police.

No vehicles will be allowed to use Harambee Avenue between Vigilance House and Uhuru Highway as police enhance security around Parliament buildings.

He however said that the new arrangements would not inconvenience the public.

“The government assures Kenyans that the public will continue to have access to services provided in these buildings without disruption,” he said.

A spot check across the city showed that security around vital installations had been increased. More officers have been deployed and traffic police to regulate the flow of traffic sent.

“It is not that we do not secure other places. It is intelligence-led but that notwithstanding, security has also been beefed up in all parts of the country,” said a senior officer.

Concerns were Thursday raised that the controlled flow of vehicles will cause traffic jams in other parts of the city centre, especially now that reports indicate that the terrorists may target motorists.

Several barriers were erected in the city including the junction of Harambee Avenue and Tumbo Avenue, near the Treasury. Already security has been beefed up in Parliament.

Even the spouses of legislators cannot enter Parliament precincts without screening by security officers.
MPs will only be allowed to entertain a maximum of two visitors at one given time.

In an earlier communication to MPs, Speaker Justin Muturi said that the changes came in the wake of rising terror threats.