Police should be humane when implementing curfew directive


The presidential decree imposing a countrywide night-time curfew was meant to stem the spread of coronavirus but it has resurrected the demons of human rights violations and totalitarian regime in our country.

If the horror pictures that are circulating on social and conventional media are anything to go by, then the citizens’ indignation and exasperation is understandable.

The beastly incident at the Likoni ferry crossing in Mombasa on Friday, when police officers unashamedly subjected women and children to a harrowing experience, speak volumes about their brutality and cruelty.

Whereas the residents had rightly protested against the authorities, there was no justification for such cruelty to be meted out on them. Or is that, in their view, the best way of solving the pandemic?

Such senseless brutality and extrajudicial killing has become the hardest conundrum of our times. It has left many Kenyans devastated.

And while many Kenyans have followed the mitigation strategies against the spread of Covid-19 — such as social distancing, regular and proper handwashing, isolation and self-quarantine — there are some who have refused to comply with Health ministry’s safety directives.

For them, it is business as usual; they continue to loaf around on the streets, hugging and kissing one another as well as shaking hands. This is unquestionable folly.

Worse, there are citizens who are adamantly recalcitrance, thus making an exhibition of themselves. Most public service vehicles have increased fares despite being advised otherwise as the NTSA turns a blind eye and deaf ear to the exploitation of travellers.

The fight against the pandemic should not be subordinated to public harassment and deliberate infliction of pain, suppression of human rights and, worst of all, to physical and psychological abuse.

Thankfully, the Ipoa has strongly condemned such contemptible and abhorrent acts of hostility and promised to investigate the matter. The police cease from illegitimate and unconstitutional abuse of powers as we collectively face this deadly and global pandemic head-on.

It is said that cleanliness is next to godliness. I add that it is the best weapon against Covid-19 — not police batons and guns.


The police seems not be aware of the reason why the dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed since they always walk in close-knit groups during their security operations to enforce it.

In their apparent zeal to effect the curfew, imposed in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, they have forgotten that they are also human beings and are at risk of contracting the disease.

They also don’t practise social distancing, especially when they are beating the unlucky civilians who come into contact with them during the nightly patrols.


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