Rogue police officers are taking advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak to make quick money from members of the public.
Since the Ministry of Health made wearing of face masks mandatory in public places, there police officers have been demanding bribes from those found without face masks in order to buy their freedom.
Mr Gabriel Kinuthia is one among victims of these rogues officers. He has narrated to Nairobi News how was walking along KoinangeSstreet when plainclothes police officers stopped him and asked him why he wasn’t putting on his face mask properly.
“The three officers, one male and two female, walked with me around town as they asked me to bribe them for me to be released,” Mr Kinuthia said.
Meanwhile, the officers moved from street to street as they made more arrests.
Mr Kinuthia ended up parting with Sh1,000 to buy his freedom.
Daniel Motari has a similar story after he was nabbed along Moi Avenue. He said that the officers just spotted him and quickly arrested him.
“I had my mask on, but it had not covered my nose well. That is how the two uniformed officers arrested me,” he recalls.
Some of these officers are said to be fond of storming shops and arresting owners who don’t have their face masks on.
Jane Njeri was seated inside her boutique when two plainclothes police officers stormed her premises and arrested her for not wearing a face mask.
Her arrested drew the attention of members of the public who demanded that the male officers get their female colleagues to arrest the woman.
“The officers are only interested in being given money. What they are doing is genuinely not right,” she said.
But speaking to Nairobi News, Nairobi police boss, Mr Philip Ndolo, said that action will be taken against all OCPDs who fail to discipline officers found guilty of demanding officers.
“I will have a word with all the OCPDs to warn their officers against picking bribes. I also want to ask members of the public to follow the law,” he said.
Two weeks ago, the Inspector General of Police, Hilary Mutyambai, ordered officers to arrest members of the public who do not have masks or don’t wear them properly in public.
Arrest for flaunting these rules, attracts a Sh20,000 fine or six months jail term, or both.
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