The scenes witnessed on Friday, March 27, as police officers enforced the curfew directive from the government left a bad taste in the mouth of many.
With videos surfacing online of police brutally whipping citizens who were caught up in the deadline, many were quick to criticize the way in which Kenyans caught outside the curfew hours were handled.
Among the leaders who came out to condemn the statement include the minority and majority leaders in the Senate Kipchumba Murkomen and James Orengo.
"Every law/directive is meant to cure particular mischief. The curfew is meant to curb the spread of COVID19 and not to torture Kenyans. The security managers are behaving as though they have a grudge against Kenyans and are using COVID19 as an excuse for revenge. It must stop forthwith," Murkomen admonished.
"A state of emergency does not by itself ineluctably limit or suspend the Bill of Rights. There must be legislation. In any case, national security must be pursued in compliance with the rule of law and human rights. Police must not enforce the curfew with might but love and fight Covid-19," Orengo added while calling for government legislation.Kandara MP Alice Wahome makes an address on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
Kandara MP Alice Wahome also weighed in and told off the police over the brutality meted to Kenyans, where she termed the police as the weak link in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Curfews do not give our officers power over the constitution; Curfews are meant to protect citizens and in this case, the 7 p.m. - 5 a.m. curfew was meant to help curb the Coronavirus pandemic.
"There are better ways of enforcing the law, especially when dealing with grown-ups. The sad truth is that the manhandling of citizens by police officers might end up being another factor leading to the spread of the disease. There is a lot of rough contact between people involved, no social distancing and hygiene are not observed," she stated.
Wahome's sentiments were echoed by the Nandi Senator Stephen Sang who also called out the poloce over their mistreatment of Kenyans.
"The level of police brutality witnessed this evening across the country is unacceptable. The police must not appear to confuse wananchi for Coronavirus.
Even as we urge Kenyans to adhere strictly to the directives and guidelines issued by the government, rule of law and common sense must prevail at all times," he stated.
Law don Makau Mutua also weighed in on the blatant abuse and his sentiments were echoed by Narc Kenya leader Martha karua.
"I suspect the Kenyan police who were caught on camera mercilessly brutalizing innocent Kenyans over the curfew will probably come down with coronavirus. There’s no social distancing if you are on top of someone beating them. Not smart!" he stated.
"Curfew can be enforced without brutality, arrests can and should be made without violation of human rights, inadequacy of public transport which is the government’s responsibility cannot be visited on the people period ! No wonder the time was later extended!" Martha Karua added.
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