Police Spokesperson Charles Owino has castigated the media for turning the public against them while they are enforcing the dusk till dawn directive to curb Coronavirus spread.
According to Owino, the media is accused of demonizing the police and portraying them in a bad light, which shouldn’t be the case.
Speaking through a phone interview with Citizen TV on Monday, March 30, Owino indicated that the media is unfair in painting the police officers enforcing curfew directives as it is mainly focused on the negative.
He called upon media houses to be fair in how they portray the police, as their actions have turned the public against the police.
“I don’t think its fair to simply just discuss the wrongdoing of the police because the limits that I have is that we have institutions that deal with this. I would take it that you are simply pitting the public against the police. The police have done a very good job except for the few cases where we saw indisciplined officers taking actions that were not appropriate,” Owino is quoted.
— Miss Odhiambo. (@MallissaMercy) March 30, 2020
Owino called for objective coverage referencing the silence on the media and failure to broadcast the vehicle that was damaged at Likoni ferry due to public rage.
“I think it’s fair to strike a balance. Yes, it’s good to show the wrongdoing but it’s also important to show the good that the police have done…For example, you have not shown the vehicle that the public damaged at the ferry, you have not shown the public who beat police,” he said.
However, Owino condemned the brutality by the police saying that it would be dealt with by the relevant authorities. He justified that some of the police officers are very young hence when provoked, they retaliate leading to the clash.
The curfew directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta was effected on Friday, March 27, 2020, that saw Kenyans and police officers involved in running battles.
It was aimed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, with the country currently reporting a total of 42 confirmed cases and 1 death.
In a press briefing yesterday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe reiterated that the directive would not be changed and urged Kenyans to abide by the Government rules on the same.
In videos circulated on social media, police officers were captured mercilessly beating up citizens without care for an explanation.
Heavy police had been deployed in different parts of the country including highways, with arrests and impounding of vehicles expected for drivers who failed to abide.
There are also reports of the death of a victim of the police brutality who apparently succumbed to injuries, with investigations said to be underway to address the issue.
The curfew is effective daily from 7PM to 5AM, with serious consequences expected for those who disobey.