Police were in the spotlight, in a number of regions in Kenya as they unleashed their wrath on citizens while, enforcing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s curfew directive, which commenced on Friday, March 27, 7 p.m.
Essential food service providers, who were exempted from those under curfew by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, were not spared either. In a video that has surfaced, one driver was forced to descend from his truck, his credentials thrown away as the police manning a roadblock beat him up.
“Ati unatransport nini hiyo? We umeskia tunataka kukula? Na unatuangalia? Tafuta petrol station ulale uko. (What you are transporting is not an important food component. Stop looking at us. Get into your car and find a petrol station to sleep at),” one police officer stated as they manhandled the driver, despite his efforts to identify himself.
In a number of videos doing rounds on social media, the law enforcers, who many argued were ruthless and descended on anyone who crossed their path. They were recorded on tape as they clobbered Kenyans who were found outside their homes in the night.
In another video, a driver of a private car found himself on the receiving end of the police, who ruthlessly descended on him after he seemingly tried to retaliate.
The driver, who was attacked by almost five officers, four male and one female, was accused of being drunk and ignorant of the new directive issued by Kenyatta.
“Amelewa. Ni mlevi. Unataka kupigana na polisi (You must be drunk, do you want to fight the police)?” the female officer could be heard accusing, as her male colleagues beat up the helpless driver, who tried to run for his life but ended up being rounded up for another beating.
Another truck driver was made to lean on his car, as the police counted the strokes of cane he was to receive. The police did not fear the glare of the cameras as they went on exercising forceful law on the driver.
In other parts of the country, the officers asked residents roaming outside the curfew to lie down, questioning them about details of the curfew.
In another video, several members of the Maasai community were captured standing up against the police, daring them to exercise violence. The residents, who were dressed in their local attire, were armed with machetes and other crude weapons against the General Service Unit police. The officers retreated back as the residents marched on, banging their panga’s on the floor while confronting the officers.
In Mombasa, the officers were caught on tape manhandling ferry users while using teargas to disperse a huge crowd at the Likoni Channel. The residents who were in a rush to cross over to Mombasa from Likoni were stranded at the channel as the ferry was authorised to carry fewer passengers in line with the Ministry of Health’s directive on ferrying passengers.
In Nairobi, thousands were also stranded at bus stations as matatus were stuck up in traffic as fare also hiked.
Over 70,000 police officers were deployed across the country to ensure members of the public remained within the confines of their homes from 7 p.m to 5 a.m.