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Police officers warned against violating operating procedures at roadblocks

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday warned that rogue police officers found abusing their authority during enforcement of government directives amid the coronavirus pandemic will face the full wrath of the law as the Government officially published the standard operating procedures for law enforcement officers at the roadblocks.

President Kenyatta, speaking while addressing the nation at State House in Nairobi, urged police officers to strive to uphold the law and not assist in breaking it.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

“Any officer who breaches his duty to implement the measures against the pandemic will be met with the harshest of sanctions. You’re meant to serve the people and protect them, not to enable the selfish few to endanger the rest of Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.

He however, applauded law enforcement officers who are undertaking their jobs with the dignity and responsibility required of them.

“We salute our hardworking and dedicated law enforcement officers who are keeping Kenyans safe and orderly. However, I must note, that every time a regulation is breached with the assistance of a government officer, it risks the lives of thousands of innocent Kenyans,” he said.

He told them to realise that there will be consequences despite being in charge of a police station, or a County Commissioner or a Chief if they will not be doing their job.

He also condemned civilians attacking law enforcement officers in the line of duty saying those found culpable will also be dealt with.

On Thursday, the National Multi-Agency Command centre-Covid-19 outlined the dos and don’ts of operations by law enforcers in designated points in the declared Covid-19 areas.

The guidelines come as 54 people were put under mandatory quarantine after they were nabbed by police for flouting government directive of social distancing.

OPERATING PROCEDURES

The procedures which were still in operation have seen elements of disharmony and misunderstanding at the roadblocks with incidents of confrontations between security personnel and citizens during its enforcement.

The regulations curtail the movement of persons into and out of the Covid-19 infected areas of Nairobi Metropolitan, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi.

The regulations, however, gives commercial vehicles transporting farm produce and lawful cargo, ambulances transporting patients to health facilities a leeway at the roadblocks.

Private cars and public transport vehicles are prohibited from entering or leaving the Covid-19 infected areas.

According to the published standard operating procedures, no person shall be exempted from the rules except by authority of the Cabinet Secretary for Health certified in writing.

Meanwhile, police officers in Maragua Constituency have taken 54 people to a 14-days mandatory quarantine after they were found flouting government directive of social distancing.

The 54 were being ferried in a Canter and a pickup vehicle from Mugoiri in Kiharu constituency.

At Maragua police station, the people mitigated their case that they were only casual labourers in search for daily bread and appealed for the police to release them.