Nakuru cops interdicted for assaulting locals in curfew enforcement
Four police officers who brutalised Kenyans in Nakuru while enforcing the dusk-to-dawn curfew on Wednesday evening have been interdicted.
In a joint press conference, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya and Regional Police Commander Marcus Ochola yesterday condemned the use of excessive force on residents.
Natembeya said the Likia OCS and Officer Commanding Police Post have also been transferred for their failure to contain the situation which saw three civilians sustain serious injuries from the brutality.
Natembeya asked police officers enforcing government directives to tame the spread of coronavirus to be humane. He said officers who brutalise locals will be prosecuted.
“All the officers who were involved in brutalising locals during the enforcement of the curfew are now under disciplinary action and they will also be taken to court to face charges,” said Natembeya.
He said the aim of the security operation is not to harm the members of the public but to ensure their safety.
He, however, appealed to residents in the region to government guidelines to avoid conflict with law enforcers.
“We shall do all we can to ensure safety of the locals. But let us also stop the confrontation between the police and locals,” he said.
He regretted that most Rift Valley residents are yet to embrace the social distancing directive, saying most were still crowding in markets and markets and bus termini.
“The curfew is not a punishment but for the best interests of our health. Those trying to hang around town during curfew time should know that coronavirus has no respect for anyone,” he warned.
Ochola said one of the police brutality victims was receiving treatment at the Nakuru Provincial General Hospital.
He reiterated that officers are only expected to arrest curfew violators and open charges, not assault them.
“ I am handling six cases of police brutality in Nakuru, four of whom have been interdicted,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Law Society of Kenya has raised concern over what it termed increase in cases of human rights violations by police officers while enforcing the curfew.
“We call on members of the public to report incidents through email,” said LSK Secretary Mercy Wambua. in a statement.