Covid-19 millionaires aside, corrupt National Police officers are believed to be the biggest beneficiaries of the Covid-19 since March this year when the first Corona case was confirmed. Since then, the country has been in a season of a paradox.
The greater challenge to flatten the curve has often forced President Uhuru Kenyatta to impose curfews, the most recent one starts from 11pm to 4 am since September 29.
Although some Kenyans find themselves inside the curfew restrictions by mistake or bad luck, there is another crop of Kenyans who fall within the known Kenyan nature of being last minute rushers and rebels. Both groups have not been spared by the greedy police out to earn from imposing the guidelines.
At the beginning of the government declarations, there were several reports and viral videos of the Kenyan policemen harassing and arresting Kenyans who were without masks yet they themselves had not put them on.
You will find several impromptu roadblocks set up even on village roads where the police will stop vehicles and persons immediately after curfew time. The corrupt officers will thereafter ask for bribes in order to release the culprits. The police have not even cared for road users with genuine reasons like emergency sickness, the only language they understand is “something small”
The Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai in early November, clarified that anyone found not wearing a face mask in public will be fined Sh20,000.This has made the situation worse since the police would demand those breaking Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and regulations to choose between parting with something small or the Sh20,000.
Mutyambai made the remarks during his weekly #EngageTheIG tweet chat, while at the same time urging police officers not to use excessive force while implementing these directives, although our Kenyan officers have been acting in contrary. Ezekiel Odera, a 27year old man was shot dead by the police a week ago in Malaba, Busia County, allegedly for not wearing a mask. This led to demonstrations hindering business activities in the border town.
Another area where the police have found a loophole to conduct corrupt activities is during weddings, funerals and political gathering. There are reports that instead of the police imposing the regulations, they are now asking for a token from the event organizers in order to permit the meetings undisturbed.
The Public Order Act allows for the imposition of a curfew within a part or all of Kenya by the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Interior (CS Interior). The 5.00am to 7.00pm curfew to be observed in Kenya was formalized through Legal Notice 36 of 2020. The penalty for failure to observe the curfew includes either a fine of up to KSh10, 000, imprisonment for up to three months, or both