• Kenyans continue to congregate for daily business and party with abandon, ignoring coronavirus rules against gathering.
• Two youngsters were busted for using an ambulance to beat the curfew to attend a party.
As health officials race to control the spread of the coronavirus, police are breaking up gatherings and parties by reckless Kenyans who ignore social distancing.
Kenyans continue to crowd together and party with abandon, defying what is now the law. They are being arrested.
Bans on gatherings are so strict that no more than two or three people are allowed in a car. Social distancing requires at least 1.5 metres between people.
Despite the countrywide closure of non-essential businesses, including clubs, dozens of people have been arrested in police swoops in the past week.
On Sunday night, police raided a house in Runda and arrested 12 people drinking beer at a private residence-turned-club.
Among the 12 were controversial 'gospel artiste' Alex Apoko famously known as Ringtone.
They were taken to Gigiri police station.
Confirming the arrests, Gigiri OCPD Richard Muguai said, "We urge members of the public to continue giving us information. We will treat it confidentially. We need united efforts to beat the coronavirus.”
On Saturday, Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Mwangi was among 18 people arrested at Ruai Gardens along the Eastern Bypass.
Video clips show the legislator being forcefully bundled into an already-full police vehicle by plainclothes detectives from Ruai police station.
Moments later, police acting on a tip-off raided Nyayo Estate in Embakasi and arrested eight people who were holding a birthday party. Those present included children, party videos seen by the Star showed.
Some people escaped when police turned up in the middle of their merry-making.
Embakasi subcounty police commander Onyango Mangira said members of the public called police after suspecting that a meeting was going on at the estate.
The owners of the house were among those arrested. They were released on cash bail and will be in self-quarantine.
At 3pm, police responded to a call about people hiding inside a bar in Landmawe, Industrial Area, Makadara.
They turned out to be 10 people, including five police officers from Industrial Remand Prison.
According to a police report recorded as OB/35/11/04/2020 at Industrial Area Police Station, they include police constables Richard Mutori, Lemiso Ndiwa, Josphert Kosgei, Lemiso Ndiwa and Andrew Kirui.
Also arrested at the drinking joint known as Mabati Bar were police constable Kipkemei Geoffrey of Garissa police station and five civilians.
“…all placed in custody to be charged for drunk and disorderly conduct and failing to comply with government directives,” the report read.
On Friday 17 other people were arrested while partying at a club near JKIA. Among them were a senior principal magistrate and a senior military officer.
Reports indicate police also arrested a sitting MP and a former MP in the raid on Friday in Embakasi.
Early last week, two youngsters were busted while using an ambulance to beat curfew to attend a party, revealing the bizarre levels to which Kenyans are willing to go to circumvent the rules.
“That’s how bad it gets. You take an ambulance in the guise of sickness to go and hang out… we will get them and arrest them,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said, blasting the two on Friday.
Netizens have weighed in on the arrests, asking how people could put short-term social pleasure ahead of health.
They also denounced government officials and civil servants who were arrested for defying directories. Elected officials might not hold onto their seats unless public memory fades.
Among measures in place to prevent a steep rise in new infections include stay-at-home orders, night curfews, the prohibition of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and the Coast counties of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi.
The government also banned social gatherings including religious events.“We will not allow any Kenyan to die because some people fail to adhere to set guidelines,” Kagwe said during daily coronavirus update last week.
Currently, coronavirus positive cases stand at 197.
(Edited by V. Graham)