Police mobilised ahead of tomorrow’s dusk to dawn curfew

Inspector-General of Police (IG) Hillary Mutyambai. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

Police have mobilized resources to implement a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by the government as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Commanders were ordered to map places they need more resources for deployment and communicate immediately because it is not clear how long the curfew will last and if there will be more measures imposed in the coming days.

Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said they were ready to roll out the ban of movement within the said hours.

“We have prepared well and are now ready. We urge for cooperation from all concerned parties for the sake of our safety,” he said.

More lorries, food and personnel were moved from one place to the other ahead of the curfew that starts tomorrow.

For instance, some 500 police officers of the ranks of senior sergeant, corporal and constable were moved to various stations on Monday and ordered to report immediately.

“The Deputy Inspector General of Kenya Police has approved the deployment of the following officers with immediate effect,” said part of a memo issued.

Mutyambai had ordered officers on leave to report back immediately. Mutyambai said police officers will ensure there is stability during this period, and all orders issued by the national government are adhered to.

President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a countrywide curfew of between 7pm and 5am effective Friday, March 27 as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The only persons who will be exempted from the curfew are medical professionals, health workers, critical and essential services providers.

“…effective Friday, March 27, 2020, a daily Curfew from 7pm to 5am shall be in effect in the territory of the Republic of Kenya, with all movement by persons not authorised to do so or not being medical professionals, health workers, critical and essential services providers, being prohibited between those hours,” said Uhuru in a national address on Wednesday.

Police have also been ordered to implement a directive on Public Service Vehicles in efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe issued a number of directives in relation to human safety and told the PSVs to scale down passenger capacity by half to minimise further spread of the virus.

"14-seater matatus will carry a maximum of eight passengers, 25-seater vehicles a maximum of 15 passengers, 30 seater vehicles and above to maintain a sixty per cent passenger capacity.”

He called upon all stakeholders, especially the police and PSV vehicle owners to adhere to this order. As a result, police officers will be required to enforce the directive and ensure public safety.

Since the directive to employers was issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta to allow employees to work from home, some members of the public have resorted to travelling upcountry.