Police Spokesman Justifies Brutality in Curfew Enforcement

  • Police spokesman Charles Owino during the launch of the National Torture Prevalence Survey in Nairobi on October 24, 2016.
    Police spokesman Charles Owino speaks at the launch of the National Torture Prevalence Survey in Nairobi on October 24, 2016.
    Daily Nation
  • Police Spokesman, Charles Owino has justified the use of excessive force by officers after hundreds of Kenyans were left stranded on March 27, after the 7 p.m. and consequently clobbered for not being home by that time. 

    A good number of Kenyans, especially in Nairobi and Mombasa, went home nursing injuries after police brutality in the name of enforcing the dusk till dawn curfew.

    Speaking later that night on Citizen TV, Owino justified the officers using excessive force, "I have talked to the police and they know, these are well-trained officers.

    "They know the limits that they have but you see, the way I'm trained, when you become riotous, I have procedures.

    A food supplies truck driver who was assaulted by the police on Friday, March 27, 2020
    A food supplies truck driver who was assaulted by the police on Friday, March 27, 2020

    "One of the procedures is that I'll read a proclamation for you, if you don't listen to that proclamation, I'll even use tear gas and there is a level, I'm even allowed to use my baton.

    The spokesman, however, noted that it was unfortunate that is what it had come to, "It is not good to lie to someone, its good to tell someone the truth, I'm saying we are not supposed to do wrong things as policemen."

    "I'm saying it is regrettable on probably what has taken place but it starts with us, you and I," he advised

    Scenes at Likoni Ferry were an eyesore as police lobbed teargas to large crowds that were waiting to cross the channel after reports that the crowd become irate. 

    On the Mombasa incident, Owino had this to say, "What happened in Mombasa was not very good, it shows the greatest disregard to the rule of law, total indiscipline.

    "The position is very clear that first of all we must be concerned about the rule of law and the regard to the rule of law.

    "What members of the public did was totally wrong because what happened is that they were expected to keep a reasonable social distance.

    "They refused to follow the queue, they refused to follow instructions and instead, they decided to break people's cars and throw stones which is not the same," Owino explained. 

    Majority of Kenyans who were left stranded were as a result of people overwhelming public transport due to the 60% capacity directive. 

    A driver who was manhandled by police as the curfew commenced on Friday, March 27, 2020
    A driver who was manhandled by police as the curfew commenced on Friday, March 27, 2020
    File