Motorists allege police harassment as ban on plastic bags kicks in
Kenyans have complained of alleged harassment from law enforcement officers on the day the ban on plastic carrier bags took effect.
The National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) kick started the implementation of the ban across the country on Monday but some Kenyan motorists claimed that they had been stopped by overzealous officers who checked their cars for any polythene bags.
However, Kenya Police spokesperson Charles Owino said that no orders has been given to police to search motorist vehicles.
“First of all I am not aware of any kind of harassment to civilians, because no reports have been made. Also there is nothing wrong with police officers enforcing the law as long as they do it in the correct procedure,” says Mr Owino.
Nema also said it had not issued any orders for checks on non-compliance.
“No one should be harassed by police! The Nema teams over next two weeks are giving verbal warnings to those found with bags so they stop using them,” said Wachira Bore, Nema’s head of inspection.
“If one has a large stock they will confiscate them. But no penalties yet unless after first warning one is found a second time. And it is Nema to prosecute not the police!”
He told Kenyans to report any harassment or irregular demands.
But Kenyans on Twitter claimed that there were random stops by police officers, out check whether motorists had plastic bags in their cars.
Flouting the ban attracts hefty fines of up to Sh4 million.
Here are a few reactions.
Cops searching for plastic in cars is uncalled for. Ban on plastic did not mean a new avenue to make easy money. @NemaKenya
— Mohammed Hersi (@mohammedhersi) August 28, 2017
That's ridiculous! First deal with the ppl on the streets…Saw a few ppl this morning still carrying them. https://t.co/ljoQ7zf1DY
— Winnie Maru (@maruwinnie) August 28, 2017
— National Leader Ke (@NationaLeaderKe) August 28, 2017
Notice,Police Stopping vehicles in Nairobi Street to search for plastic bags.Fine is 4 Million.
— James W Mungai (@JamesWMungai) August 28, 2017
@NemaKenya there seems to be confusion, you say we hold onto plastic bags, reports are that police are random searching cars for bags.
— Lorna Irungu (@KuisanMacharia) August 28, 2017
— Jacktone Ombuya (@Jack_Tone69) August 28, 2017