Once again the National Police Service has exhibited its traditional trait of ruthlessness after several reported cases of brutality meted on citizens
Once again the National Police Service has exhibited its traditional trait of ruthlessness after several reported cases of brutality meted on hapless citizens, during the ongoing curfew. From incidences captured in Mombasa, Nairobi and Nakuru, there is still a long way our security agencies have to go before they can cultivate the goodwill of Kenyans.
It is heart-wrenching to watch women, men, children and even journalists being beaten by the police. Coming in the wake of the coronavirus, the police violence is uncalled for and a step in the wrong direction. There is nothing civil, nor modern about the way police handled Kenyans on Friday.
While curfews are meant to control movement in times of adversity, security agencies must remember that they and ordinary Kenyans have one common enemy at the moment and that is coronavirus. It is misguided thinking from the eyes of the police that Kenyans have suddenly become an enemy of the State.
If there was a time the police should win the hearts of Kenyans, it is now. The public is facing a crisis, which is not of their own making. No Kenyan wished that COVID-19 should enter into our borders – and probably had no power to stop it. Thus, actions of punishing them as if they are responsible for this carnage, is simply blaming the victim and must stop. Social distancing has been touted as one of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus.
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However, looking at the herd mentality with which the police operated on Friday, it would be difficult to explain a scenario where one of them is infected with the virus. On the same note, looking at how Kenyans were herded like goats, lobbed with teargas which triggers a cough, nobody would want to imagine the result if just one of those in the crowds were infected.
That said it must not be forgotten that not all police officers are rogue. A good example is a senior officer in Baringo County who was captured advising the public to go home and at the same time helping them sanitise their hands. Now that is the kind of service Kenya needs now.