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It’s community service for 57 found flouting Covid-19 regulations in city

57 offenders who were arrested for flouting Covid-19 rules in the capital city have been subjected to a week of community service.

This comes after the government intensified its crackdown on those ignoring measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Those arrested in the weekend were first held at Kilimani Police Station before being arraigned at Kibera Courts on Monday before being released on Community Service order.

Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS), through the Directorate of Enforcement, will oversee them execute the community service duties at various facilities and streets in Nairobi.

“They are expected to report at 8:00am to 5:00pm for the entire week for their services including cleanup of Marikiti and Muthurua Markets, Globe, Nairobi River, as will be assigned,” the order read.

Those who will skip their sentence, will be rearrested and arraigned in court for a stiffer punishment.

Some of the offenders were found drinking in bars beyond stipulated curfew hours, others were found without masks while for businesses, operators were not adhering to social distancing rules or taking temperatures of customers.

For the businesses, the worst affected are bars, matatus and eateries, where operators had adopted the “business as usual” mode.

This was a departure from the last few months when the officers relaxed vigilance against perpetrators, doing away with roadblocks.

According to Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, those in breach of the public health measures face an instant cash fine of 20,000 shillings, while motorists found driving beyond 10pm curfew time will have their licenses revoked.

“Being in public without a mask attracts a fine of Sh20,000. 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,” Mutyambai said.

Last year, police were ordered to arrest members of the public who do not wear their face masks properly.

In a circular, Head of Police Operations Henry Barmao, ordered field officers to file daily cases of the crimes to police headquarters.

Mr Barmao instructed police officers to immediately arrest those who fail to wear masks or those who wear them without properly covering their mouth and nose.

The government published the law in April which imposed a fine of Sh20,000 and a jail term of six months, or both, for anyone found not wearing a mask in public as a preventative measure against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The law requires the mandatory use of face masks in public vehicles as well.