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Irony of police officers enforcing coronavirus with guns and batons

By Edwin Maina | April 11th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Police turn away a boda-boda rider after he tried crossing over a roadblock erected at Isinya Weighbridge station along Kajaido-Nairobi Highway. [David Njaaga/Standard]

Last Thursday, a photo of an armed police officer standing guard over members of the public lying on the ground went viral on social media.

It was an AP officer said to have arrested city residents for failing to adhere to government regulations to wear face masks while in public.

A closer look at the photo reveals that the officer too did not have a face mask. 

“The very person enforcing the law is breaking it by not wearing a mask,” James Kimani said on Facebook. 

The government has already criminalised not wearing masks in a notice published in the Kenya Gazette.  

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Those who defy the Public Health Act on coronavirus risk being arrested and prosecuted. The offender is liable to a jail term not exceeding six months or a court fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or both.

Saturday Standard has observed that the majority of police officers manning the roadblock along the Kenol-Thika highway do not have masks or gloves.

The only weapons the officers had were guns and batons.

“We have to buy face masks yet the government is supposed to provide us with the safety tools,” pointed out an officer manning the roadblock at Makenji area in Murang’a.

Tens of stranded motorists were milling around the police officers pleading to be allowed to cross the barrier erected to stop motorists from leaving or getting into Nairobi.


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