The Rift valley Law Society of Kenya has strongly condemned the excessive use of force by police officers during day one (Friday) of the dusk to dawn Curfew decreed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Lawyers say this is uncalled for during this dispensation of the news constitution of Kenya 2010.
Addressing media in Nakuru on Saturday Morning led by Rift valley Law Society of Kenya President John Ochang’, they said they were disturbed by the behaviour of the police officers towards innocent Kenyans.
They say the officers could have used non-violent rules first rather than engaging innocent Kenyans in brutal ways yet there are guidelines to be followed.
“We condemn the brutality by force and excessive use of force. As a law society we are very disturbed that the police could behave that way yet they have the guidelines. The force used cannot be justified and we condemn it and call for action.” said Ochang’.
They argued that if what was witnessed on Friday night during the curfew is what will go on, then it is a situation where the criminal justice system has been left to the police.
While noting that the fight against the spread of coronavirus is a collective responsibility, the Rift valley Law Society of Kenya said the police should not use the powers given to them to brutalize innocent Kenyans.
The society argues that police behaviour is a challenge and threat in containing the situation on Corona.
They added that the police behaviour towards citizens is a challenge and threat in containing the situation on Corona in the country.
According to the Lawyers, police officers who are enforcing the government directives have no protective gears contrary to the WHO guidelines.
“We all have a collective responsibility but the police should not use this as an avenue to brutalize Kenyans” said Ochang’.
On the arrests being made, the Rift valley LSK says should be made and the culprits given police bail and a date in court when things normalize.
Meanwhile, the law body has also differed with Chief Justice David Maraga on the closure of all operations in courts.
They say this should be revisited to allow some courts to operate as long as there is adherence to the social distancing guidelines as per the Ministry of Health and WHO guidelines.
“This idea of closing down courts should be revisited. The CJ should allow some courts to operate so as to ensure justice and checks on some of the officers. The Judiciary as a protector of the law and justice should not have been closed. We urge CJ to ensure some courts are in operation.