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Security officers majority of curfew violators, says Matiri says official

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 00:00 | By
Security officers inspect motorists at Shanzu roadblock on the Mombasa-Malindi highway, yesterday. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

At least 60 security officers have been subjected to disciplinary action for contravening curfew orders with the latest reports indicating that many violators of the orders were Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers, police and prisons officers.

Since the curfew was imposed on March 27 about a hundred officers from different services have been arrested in several parts of the country with some of them being taken to mandatory quarantine.

Major-General Ayub Matiri, the Commanding Officer of the National Command Centre for Covid-19, has raised the red flag, revealing that most violators were military and police officers.

The National Police Service leads with the number of officers so far nabbed, according to the arrest records, which also indicate that other officers have been accused of other criminal activities and drunkenness.

Disarmed police

On Sunday night, Maj-Gen Matiri visited a roadblock in Embakasi and raised his concerns to the Inspector General of Police, Hilary Mutyambai. 

At the same roadblock, a superintendent of police attached to the Presidential Escort Unit was disarmed and arrested but was later in the morning released unconditionally. The Kenya Prisons Director of Operations Duncan Ogore yesterday termed the incidents a serious breach of the law, especially when the country was trying to contain the spread of the disease.

“The four arrested officers were handed over to us and disciplinary action against them is ongoing. That was a serious breach of the law,” Ogore said.

A source at the police headquarters said the arrested officers were either taken into mandatory quarantine or subjected to internal disciplinary proceedings.

On Saturday night, a Chief Inspector attached to Vigilance House, another police constable attached to Disaster Management Unit and a civilian were arrested after they attacked their colleague who advised them to proceed to their residences and observe the curfew orders.

They attacked and tried to disarm him, prompting the officer to fire in the air to scare them away. The three were later arrested  and two of them  found to be officers while the other was a civilian residing at the Westpark police quarters.

“Some of the arrested officers are handed over to the commanders for disciplinary action. In most of the cases, the officers are found with members of the public, locked up in bars,” said a senior police officer.

The same day, four prison officers and a  policeman attached to Garissa police station were arrested at Landi Mawe, Industrial Area after they were found having locked themselves in a bar drinking alcohol. They were also arrested with five other members of the public.

All the military soldiers who were arrested were handed over to the Military police. A Kenya Air Force and three Kenya Army soldiers were arrested and taken to Embakasi Garrison

Apart from the security officers, a Deputy County Commissioner, a Member of Parliament, a magistrate, a senior military commander, singer Ringtone Apoko and others have also been arrested for contravening the orders.

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