The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) Saturday advised the general public to observe the curfew hours provided in the notice vide Government Gazette Notice of 26 March 2020.
IPOA further asked employers to be compassionate and revise hours of operation to allow their employees enough time for them to commute to their homes well before the curfew deadline sets in.
The curfew, which started Friday evening, brought a lot of chaos and confusion as most commuters were unable to beat the curfew time while police, in turn, used excessive force, intimidation and even went ahead to injure and clobber some Kenyans including a journalist even before curfew time.
IPOA Chairperson Anne Makori in the statement said that as an oversight authority, they expect the National Police Service to execute its duties strictly in compliance with the law and if required, the use of force be exercised only to the extent that is necessary.
Chair Anne Makori, Covid-19 curfew; Police shall first use non-violent means. Force shall be proportionate. Death, serious injury shall be reported immediately to @IPOA_KE. Failure to report by police is an offence. Following orders is no excuse for unlawful use of force.^MF pic.twitter.com/sKarxYG9nh
— IPOA (@IPOA_KE) March 28, 2020
“The Inspector-General of Police should bring to the attention of all operation commanders that public order management behoves the police to conduct themselves professionally and within the confines of the law,” Makori said.
The Chairperson added that the National Police Service Act, 2011, Chapter 47 of the Service Standing Orders and Sections 61(1& 2) of the NPS Act dictates that the use of force including discharging firearms responsibility shall fall on individual officers as well as commanders in charge of the operations in case of any eventualities.
“Towards enforcement of the curfew, IPOA Friday observed how the police and other agencies engaged in public order management conducted their work. In the course of our constituent mandate of monitoring of police operations, as guided by Sec. 6 (c) of the Authority Act, 2011”, Makori said.
She noted that IPOA is cognizant of the outbreak and declaration of the COVID-19 (CoronaVirus) as a global health emergency and the consequent measures put in place by the Government to prevent, contain and manage its spread.
As an institution, she added that IPOA has already put in place strategies to continue its operations unabated during the pandemic
Makori assured Kenyans of the utmost commitment of their mandate as IPOA, in the undertaking of independent, impartial and fair monitoring of police operations and investigations but also urged Kenyans to stay home and observe social distancing.
The objectives of IPOA Act is to hold the police accountable to the public in the performance of their functions.