Curfew does not mean you cannot take your relative to hospital — Police Spokesperson Charles Owino

Police Spokesperson Charles Owino has clarified that the 7pm-5am that is set to start today will be carried out in a professional manner and special cases will be considered.

Owino gave an example of those who might want to rush their relatives to hospital saying such people can be allowed to be outside but he urged Kenyans to observe the curfew.

On Thursday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i gazetted the curfew and that means there shall be no public gatherings, processions or movement either alone or as a group for the period of the curfew.

According to Owino, there are ‘adequate police officers’ to enforce the curfew and they will patrol to see whether Kenyans have complied.

“The Inspector-General last week recalled all police officers who were on leave and with the curfew, we have enough number of police officers who will be moving around the country to ensure that Kenyans remain indoor in the hours directed and also provide security,” he remarked.

Although those who violate the curfew might not be detained, punishment for the offence will be guided by Section 8(6) of the Public Order Act, which provides for the applicable sentence and fine.

“Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of a curfew order or any of the terms or conditions of a permit granted to him under subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment,” the section reads.

Earlier this week, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the National Security Council was forced invoke the Public Order Number One on coronavirus pandemic to restrict movement of people because Kenyans had been reluctant to adhere to behavioural protocols by the Health ministry to tame the virus spread.

He appeared to hint at a total lockdown should Kenyans defy the curfew order.

“If the measures are deemed to be inadequate, we shall, without hesitation, take even further and more drastic measures to ensure that the cardinal duty of the government and of the State which is the protection of life and property is assured,” he said.