16 taxi drivers arrested, 70 officers moved from Bluepost roadblock over bribery claims

Thursday, June 25th, 2020 10:03 |
Security officers man a roadblock at Lari area on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway Photo/PD/TABITHA MBATIA

Sixteen taxi drivers were arrested on Wednesday evening attempting to bribe police officers to pass Bluepost roadblock in Thika, Kiambu County against the government’s regulation on movement cessation.

The drivers were arrested trying to bribe the men in uniform manning the major roadblock that marks the entry to Murang’a County and other Central Kenya regions.

They will be arraigned on Thursday and will be charged with two counts of contravening Covid-19 rules and trying to bribe police officers.

On board in their vehicles were 64 occupants who were also arrested and will be arraigned at Murang’a law courts for contravening Covid-19 rules.

According to Murang’a County police commander Josephat Kinyua, those arrested were moving on to different areas among them Murang’a, Nyeri, Marsabit among other counties.

The county police boss dismissed reports that five cops were among those arrested saying “if there were any, then they didn’t identify themselves and we have thereby treated them as common citizens. We will charge them as well if there are any”.

He however said that a group of officers are currently being investigated over allegations of engaging in corrupt activities at the roadblock.

A section of the officers are undergoing internal disciplinary actions which could lead to their interdiction or possible demotion.

At the same time, a reshuffle has been done at the roadblock which has seen at least 70 officers from the multi-agency team moved to different locations.

“We have officers from health, Kenya police and other essential services who have been moved out of the roadblock in our efforts to restore sanity following complaints,” he said.

The arrest followed numerous complaints from residents of the area that officers manning the roadblock have been collecting bribes to allow persons to move in and out of Nairobi.

Kinyua implored Kenyans to consider following the government directives among them, reducing unnecessary movements to flatten the curve of spreading the deadly virus.

“Stop moving out of Nairobi and other places. The government has spent a lot of money to operationalize roadblocks and we should all be worried that the virus will continue to spread if we don’t conduct ourselves properly,” he said.

The government on June 6 extended movement restrictions in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa, and Mandera counties with an additional 30 days to stop the spread of the virus that has seen 5,206 Kenyans infected so far.

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