The Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai on Monday clarified that anyone found not wearing a face mask in public will be fined Sh20,000.
Mutyambai made the remarks during his weekly #EngageTheIG tweet chat, while at the same time saying police officers were under instructions to strictly enforce Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and regulations, including the wearing of masks in public.
“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.
The police boss said all cops should first identify themselves.
“Kenyans should not offer or give any bribes to anyone,” he said in response to a question about police harassing members of the public.
Mutyambai also said it would be impractical to effect mass arrests during public gatherings, in response to a question concerning public rallies being hed by top politicians.
“We continue to urge the public to take personal responsibility as Covid-19 numbers continue to rise, the Police can not arrest everyone because then we will simply transfer the burden of social distancing to the cells. It boils down to personal responsibility,” the IG added.
In May, 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 it 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 also requires the mandatory use of face masks in public vehicles as well.