Four KDF soldiers put into forced quarantine

Thursday, April 9th, 2020 18:39 |

A Kenya Air Force and three Kenya Army soldiers arrested on Wednesday have been taken for mandatory quarantine at Embakasi Garrison bringing the number of personnel from the disciplined forces under forced isolation to 24.

The soldiers were found hiding in Kalyet bar within Juakali in Embakasi area thereby failing to observe social distancing -while drinking alcohol past the curfew hours.

These arrests also come just a day after a Deputy County Commissioner, Fred Ouma attached to Nyayo House Regional headquarters was apprehended by police enforcing the curfew at Komarock shopping centre while drinking alcohol past 7pm.

The arrested soldiers have been identified as Corporal Francis Wanjohi of Airforce,  Sergeant Joseph Komen, Senior Sergeant Willy Kipkomen, and Sergeant Thomas Torot all of Kenya Army.

Also arrested was the bar attendant, Susan Kirui.

Immediately after the arrest, the soldiers were handed over to the Military Police who took them to the Garrison.

Latest reports indicate that government and security officials are among the violators of the government directives, especially pertaining to the curfew orders.

In the last one week, at least 15 police officers and several KDF soldiers have been arrested during curfew order operations.

Last weekend, at least 20 security officers were arrested in Umoja Estate, within Embakasi West Subcounty for contravening curfew orders. This, together with the kind of brutality witnessed during the enforcement of the curfew orders, has put the police –one of the key institutions in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus -on the spotlight.

The Curfew Orders which took effect on March 27 were, among other reasons, expected to ensure social distancing but ironically, several police officers and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers have been arrested while holed up in bars, well after 7pm.

And concerns are now being raised on whether the security officers, especially the police service, are one of the weakest links in the fight against the Covid-19.

On Sunday at around 10pm concerned members of the public informed the Nairobi Area Control Room that some people had locked themselves up inside Maximum Bar within Mbotela estate.

A team of officers led by the Makongeni OCS raided the bar and arrested nine people. Seven of them were found to be police officers.

The arrested officers were identified as Traffic officer Constable Joseph Githinji Mwangi, Administration Police (AP)Constable Silas Wanjohi, AP Constable John Kamanga Muita, AP Corporal Samuel Ngugi, AP Constable Patrick Kibe, AP Constable David Muiruri and AP Constable, all attached to the Critical Infrastructure Unit (CIPU) headquarters.

Police headquarters also said that AP Constable Muita was found with a Ceska pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition at the bar which was confiscated.

“This could be a tip of the iceberg as other reports indicate that most of the officers arrested for contravening such orders are released unconditionally without the necessary report sent to the Police headquarters,” said a senior police officer who sought anonymity.

Barely three hours before the arrest of the seven officers, two Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers both of the ranks of Warrant Officer, a Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detective, a Corporal of Police attached to Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa were also arrested along Kangundo road after they were found drinking alcohol past the drinking hours.

The members of the public had informed the Police headquarters that some patrons were inside Hoky Tong Bar and a team of officers rushed there.

Among those arrested were KDF’s Warrant Officer Owen Odhiambo, Warrant Officer Mwangangu Mwadime, Corporal of Police William Wamalwa attached to CS Wamalwa, and Constable Joram Nyachoti Munari of DCI headquarters. Also arrested during the operation at the bar were eight other members of the public.

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