Passengers plying Lamu-Mombasa Highway want military escort removed.
Instead, they have asked the military officers to patrol along the highway, but not hold on to passenger vehicles.
The passengers are saying the escort is causing unnecessary delays due to long waiting hours that can stretch up to four hours.
Others said that on several occasions, they were forced to sleep on the road after missing a military escort at Gamba police station.
“When you get an emergency or needed in Mombasa for urgent family matters you cannot make it,” lamented Fahim Omar.
Omar said he has missed at least two burial ceremonies for his family members in Mombasa following such inconveniences.
Omar said they are forced to undergo through endless inspections along the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road.
“We are forced to alight from the vehicles at more that three police inspection points along the road, wasting not less that four hours during the journey,” he noted.
The travelers want police to provide security but not to such levels of harassing passengers.
Speaking on the issue, Human rights lobby Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) has warned that it will sue the government if it doesn’t respond to passengers’ pleas.
MUHURI said the presence of heavily armed military officers creates a perception that Lamu is insecure, a situation that is driving tourists and investors away.
The lobby group said the government’s continued deployment of military officers through escorts mean that they consider the area insecure.
MUHURI Chairperson Khelef Khalifa said they will write to shipping companies to shun Lamu port due to safety concerns, ostensibly brought to the fore by the military escorts.
“We want an end to this, Lamu is secure and travelers heading to and from Lamu should as well feel secured and not under unnecessary tensions while plying the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road,” said Khalifa.
Khalifa said MUHURI will move to court to sue the government for ignoring the plights of Lamu dwellers among other business people and tourists visiting the historical Islands of Lamu.