By Eunice Kayo
The Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) on Wednesday issued a strong condemnation on cases of police brutality during the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, especially the 10pm to 4am nationwide curfew.
Under the recent directives issued by the President, bars, restaurants, other entertainment establishments are required to close by 9 pm before the nationwide curfew starts at 10pm, but the PERAK said police have been harassing members before time.
Joseph Mbugua, Manager at Nairobi’s Jambo Grill, said over the weekend workers at the establishment fell victim to police brutality after members of internal security agencies raided the premises located along Thika Road, leaving several staff and customers injured, and causing damages totaling over Sh500,000.
“On Saturday police came at around 8.30 when we were preparing to close and caused a lot of damaged to our premises, they beat up our staff, beat up our customers, broke beers, grass they also stole beers and customers’ phones and its really painful because we are law abiding citizens and the businesses are legal,” said Mbugua.
A widely circulated CCTV footage which has caused public uproar, captured police officers entering Jambo Grill bar before beating up people at the joint before throwing tear gas smoking every one out.
Another video also shared online showed police beating revelers at a local joint along the same road.
The Association’s Nairobi Chapter Chairperson Frank Mbogo called upon the Inspector General of Police to advise police officers to enforce the COVID-19 protocols in a humane manner to avoid such altercations.
Mbogo also advised PERAK members to continue adhering to the protocols and ensure they close their premises by 9pm as required.
“The enforcement of law shouldn’t involve destruction and the assault of innocent Kenyans, we urge our members to continue measures to limit the spread of the virus and adhere on rules of opening and closing as directed by the government,” said Mbogo.