Police officers asked not to harass locals during 7 pm-4 am curfew in Busia

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Police officers in Busia county have been urged to desist from harassing and beating up people who are caught up outside during the 7pm to 4am curfew hours.

Ang’urai South ward rep Grace Olita and Aterait sub location retired assistant chief Stanley Anukuru have raised concerns following what they have termed as some police officers using excessive force while implementing the curfew rules that were imposed in Busia county and twelve other Lake Victoria region counties described as Covid-19 hot spots one month ago.

Last week President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the curfew for another 30 days.

“Although we support the curfew but some police officers are taking that advantage to harass and torture innocent Kenyans. When they meet someone during curfew hours let them allow him or her to explain why they are outside. We have genuine cases like someone going to hospital or having been delayed by rainfall or their vehicle broke on the way making them arrive home late.”

Anukuru particularly blamed police officers based at Changara market police post in Teso North Sub County for caning locals, confiscating their motorbikes and asking for bribes before they release them, “They are using excess force. They beat up people and leave them with injuries, take away their motorbikes and hold kangaroo courts at the post where they ask for money before they release the motorbikes. If you beat up a bodaboda and injure him then take away motorbike, how do you expect him to feed his family during these hard economic times?”

The duo who were talking to West Media at Ang’aro market, however urged locals to obey Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols aimed at containing the disease which has disrupted lives across the globe, “It’s important that we all adhere to the protocols because the disease is very dangerous and is killing many people daily.”

Olita also urged those who are able to travel to Kocholia hospital or Busia county referral hospital to do so and get vaccinated against Corona Virus, “It’s true most of our people especially in villages are yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and it’s because the vaccine is available in big hospitals only which are far away from villages, but those who are working or are able to afford fare I call on them to go and be vaccinated.”

The MCA highlighted efforts she is making in improving health services in her ward, “I am working hard to improve health centers in my ward and my aim is to see to it that most of them are alleviated to higher levels. Like at Akichelesit dispensary, I am completing construction of a staff quarter to enable clinical officers and nurses to stay at the facility so that they serve our people with ease. Akolong’o dispensary is up and running although we are now working on electricity connection and fencing. At Aboloi, we are finalizing the construction of the maternity wing and we have set aside funds to construct general wards so that patients can be admitted and treated from there.”