7PM BAR CLOSURE

Mobs storm police stations, jeer at cops to celebrate curfew end

Motorists drove to police stations at midnight hooting, chanting, singing

In Summary
  • Bars across the country will remain closed from 7pm, despite the lift of dusk-to-dawn curfew, Inspector General of police Hilary Mutyambai said.
  • “If the order on masks, public gathering and churches was retained why would anyone think bars would be exempted?” a senior officer asked.
Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai.
7PM BAR CLOSURE: Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai.
Image: NPS

Police claim some Nairobi residents intimidated, laughed at and provoked them on Wednesday night following the lifting of the dusk-to- dawn curfew.

Mobs of people camped outside police stations singing and chanting songs, praising President Kenyatta for his action while condemning police for ordering that bars be closed at 7pm.

Police take this as intimidation and provocation for implementing an order issued by authorities.

A senior police officer said his station was a beehive of activities from people who looked drunk and who kept shouting at them.

“They are blaming us for what we don’t know. We are also Kenyan and these measures are meant to protect us all,” the officer said.

Some of those driving outside the stations kept hooting and driving recklessly as police watched helplessly.

The senior officer explained the move to retain the bar order, citing retention of the directive on public gatherings and churches.

“If the order on masks, public gathering and churches was retained why would anyone think bars would be exempted?” the officer asked.

Bars across the country will remain closed from 7pm, despite the lift of dusk-to-dawn curfew, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said. 

Mutyambai said the police service will continue to ensure adherence to the measures. 

"Following the vacation of the Covid associated curfew, existing measures on closure of bars by 7pm remain in place for now. Enforcement of violation of this measure to continue," the National Police Service said on Wednesday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the curfew that has been in place since March 27, 2020, on Wednesday. 

In his address during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga, Kenyatta said the decision to vacate the curfew was made following the declining rate of Covid-19 infection in the country.

"I have noted with much appreciation that the surge of infection has declined over the last two weeks as characterised by the positivity rate of below five per cent, registered over this period.

"I hereby order and direct that the dusk-to-dawn curfew be and is hereby vacated with immediate effect," Kenyatta said.

The President said the country is on course to realise the 10 million adult vaccination target by December noting that about five million people have received the jab.

He, however, urged Kenyans to adhere to the Covid-19 containment measures even as the government works on fully reopening the economy.

"It is important for all of us to appreciate that we are not yet out of the woods. We must therefore continue to observe the containment measures as directed by the Ministry of Health, this is the only way to sustain the gains we are making," Kenyatta said.

The number of persons gathering for worship has also been reviewed from one-third to two-thirds of the respective premises.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai
7PM BAR CLOSURE: Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai
Image: NPS