Kenya: Uproar After Arrests for Wearing 'Military' Attire

13 November 2019

Police have warned residents of Eldoret town against donning attire resembling police or military uniform, especially at night.

The officers said that some people use such attire to terrorise residents in the guise of police officers.

According to the law enforcers, the directive is among measures being taken to ensure security for residents is enhanced during the festive season.

This comes at a time when locals have accused police of terrorising them for putting on clothes resembling police uniforms.

Some of the affected residents claim they are not aware that it is illegal to put on such outfits.

"I was arrested while on my way to work at MTRH for a night shift. The arresting officers who were on night patrol did not immediately tell me why I was arrested until late in the night when they revealed to me that I was wearing an attire that resembles police uniform," said an intern nurse at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Another resident who operates a salon on Ronald Ngala Street claimed to have been ambushed by police on allegations of putting on attire resembling police uniform.

The woman claimed that she was forced to give the police Sh1,000 to release her.

"I did not know that it is illegal to put on such a clothes; they arrested me and demanded a bribe to release me," she said.

Ironically, none of the victims has been charged in court.

However, Uasin Gishu County Commander Johnstone Ipara exonerated police from any blame.

Mr Ipara said although he was not aware of such a case, it is illegal for civilians to put on such attire.

He said that there have been cases where civilians engage in crime as they impersonate police.

"Some civilians use such clothes to terrorise innocent Kenyans in the guise of police officers," said Mr Ipara.

Early this year, former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet issued special orders calling for arrest and prosecution of civilians donning police attire.

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