Police have arrested at least 27 people in Mumias West, Kakamega County for allegedly failing to wear face masks in public.
The suspects were reportedly arrested on Monday, November 2 during a crackdown on residents disobeying COVID-19 safety measures put in place by the Ministry of Health.
According to Mumias West Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu and area Police Commander Paul Mengich, who led the crackdown, the suspects were arrested after they were found moving around without face masks.
“We have cracked the whip and we have arrested about 27 residents of this town for not wearing masks. Some are pedestrians, others were in PSV vehicles restaurants while others were going about their own businesses,” said Mr. Mengich.
However, the residents faulted police officers for not leading by example, accusing them not adhering to the safety protocols.
Yesterday, the Inspector-General (IG) of Police Hillary Mutyambai warned Kenyans that they will be fined Ksh20,000 if found without a face mask in public.
During his weekly #EngageTheIG tweet chat, the IG said that police officers are under instructions to strictly enforce Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and regulations, including the wearing of masks in public.
“Being in public without a mask attracts a fine of Ksh. 20,000. However, all officers are to enforce this within the law and no one is allowed to use excessive force while implementing this directive. In case of any proof, share with my office, IAU [Internal Affairs Unit] or IPOA [Independent Policing Oversight Authority] for action.”
“All police officers should identify themselves, even then the police have been authorized to enforce strict adherence to the @MOH_Kenya Covid-19 guidelines including wearing masks in public places. Finally do not offer or give any bribes to anyone,” Mutyambai said.