Residents of Njokerio, in Njoro County marched Saturday to protest police brutality in the enforcement of a curfew that is part of the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The residents accused officers at the Njoro police station for arresting people for failure to adhere to Covid-19 rules on Friday and release them on Monday only after them parting with some amounts.
The Saturday, August 18, incident was sparked by arrest of residents in Njoro area on Friday who had not put on mask and other who were found out past the curfew hours.
The arrest triggered night protest with demonstrators lighting bonfires outside the Njoro Police station as they expressed their displeasure over what they termed as ‘harassment over trivialities’ by police.
During the riots, residents claimed that police have turned the implementation of Covid-19 rules into an extortion of racket where officers demand as high as 2,000 for one to secure a release.
“The officers arrest us on Friday evening and demand as high as Ksh2,000 just because you do not have a mask on,” complained the residents.
Njoro Business Community chaiperson, Kariuki Wamatingi accused the officers for abusing Covid-19 prevention measures, saying that he will join the residents and people who have been injured and harassed to file a case against the police.
“The police are abusing Covid-19 prevention measures rule on masking up and arresting people who have removed their mask to eat, how can an officer enter an eatery and expect to find people masked up,”he said.
“The community is going to engage a lawyer and at the same time write a petition to the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA),” he added.