More security officers will be deployed countrywide during this year’s festive season as Kenya prepares to mark Christmas and New Year under curfew.
Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai on Tuesday said that police officers have been given strict instructions to ensure no one contravenes the existing Covid-19 protocols.
“Curfew time will be fully enforced; at 10pm everyone should be indoors,” said the IG.
Mr Mutyambai was speaking during a press conference at his Jogoo House office accompanied by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director-General Gorge Njao and Kenya Prison Service Commissioner Wycliffe Ogalo.
Mr Ogola said that the prisons department will also deploy some of its officers to assist the police during the festive season.
“Security starts with an individual. I therefore urge all officers and the citizenry to work together and share all information that may assist us pre-empt crimes,” he said.
On his part, the NTSA boss reiterated that officers manning roadblocks during this festive season will ensure there are no excess passengers in public service vehicles (PSVs).
He warned the public not to board any PSVs defying the Covid-19 directives from the Ministry of Health by exceeding the recommended number of passengers.
“There shall be impromptu checks along major highways. To avoid any inconveniences, we urge motorists and passengers to adhere to all road safety standards and requirements of the Traffic Act. Of special emphasis will be flagging out of illegal operations contrary to the Traffic Act such as overloading, use of un-prescribed identification plates, failure to use seatbelts, drunk driving, use of un-roadworthy vehicles among others,” he said.
Last week, the police IG recalled all officers on leave in order to beef security as the festive season sets in.
He said that during the festive season, there will be enhanced police patrols, citing the season’s uniqueness as the reason why police officers on leave will be required to report back to work.
“Members of the public should adhere and exercise personal responsibility so that they can prevent further spreading of the Covid-19 disease.”
Mr Njau said that in the past few weeks, NTSA has recorded an increase in accidents compared to last year and urged motorists to be extra vigilant on the roads to avoid such cases.
As of December 13, 2020, general statistics documented by the police and the NTSA show that road fatalities between January and December this year stood at 3,663, compared to 3,508 during the same period in 2019.
These deaths on the roads come despite reduced travel as a result of the partial lockdown imposed earlier this year due to Covid-19, the ongoing curfew and more people working from home.
At least155 people lost their lives in just ten days compared to 107 from the same period last year. In contrast, 109 people have succumbed to Covid-19 related complications during that period.
Mr Njao blamed drink driving, overloading, speeding, driver fatigue, use of un-roadworthy vehicles, overtaking dangerously, lack of proper lane discipline, freewheeling among other human controllable factors as some of the reasons the fatalities have been high