STAY INDOORS

Thousands of cops deployed to enforce curfew

Regular and GSU personnel to get back up from KWS, Prisons and NYS officers.

In Summary
  • GSU officers to patrol crime-prone areas and hotspots in slums.
  • Up to half of the 120,000 police officers have been deployed and multi-agency security teams mobilised.
GSU officers patrol the streets of Garissa town last Thursday
GSU officers patrol the streets of Garissa town last Thursday

Police officers on leave have been recalled, Prisons and Kenya Wildlife Service warders mobilised and NYS officers deployed to enforce the curfew beginning tonight.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the curfew on Wednesday in efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The country has 31 confirmed infections, one fatality and one recovery. Globally the number of infections is more than 500,000, with over 24,000 deaths. 

 
 

Reports indicate that up to half of the 120,000 police officers have been deployed and multi-agency security teams mobilised to keep Kenya's population of nearly 40 million indoors.

Some 5,000 officers from the prisons service, 3,000 from KWS and 10,000 from the National Youth Service have been deployed to offer back up the National Police Service.

The officers, who have been divided into small groups, will patrol all streets across towns, keep vigil around bus stops and major roads as well as enforce the order in villages.

Chiefs and assistant chiefs have been assigned officers to patrol villages and ensure Kenyans remain in their homes.

Every officer commanding police station (OCS) has been mandated to lead the enforcement of the curfew within their jurisdictions, with officers commanding police divisions (OCDPs) offering overall supervision in their areas.

General Service Unit officers will be deployed in crime-prone areas, including in the slums.

Those found outside their homes between 7pm and 5am will be rounded up, taken to court and fined not more than Sh10,000, or sentenced to three months in jail or both.

On Friday, National Police Service spokesman Charles Owino warned offenders that they will face the law.

He, however, clarified that those arrested will be released on bail or free bond and arraigned after the coronavirus is contained.

This is in line with Chief Justice David Maraga's directive that barred police officers from holding offenders in cells to avoid congestion and spreading the virus.

Owino said the officers will be considerate of pressing cases requiring people to be outside during the curfew.

“Officers have the discretion to decide the action to take. The curfew does not mean that members of the public who have, for example, sick relatives cannot take them to hospital," he explained.

The curfew was gazetted by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i on Thursday. "Under this order, there shall be no public gatherings, processions or movements either alone or as a group for the period of the curfew," the notice reads.

Owino said there are sufficient police officers to enforce the curfew.

"The Inspector General last week recalled all police officers who were on leave and we have enough numbers of police officers who will be moving around the country to ensure that Kenyans remain indoors in the hours directed and also provide security," he said.

IG Hillary Mutyambai has warned police officers against arresting petty offenders to avoid congesting the cells.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya