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Police warn Kenyans against wearing military-type attire

GSU officers at 14 Riverside complex on January 16, 2019 during a terror attack. Police have warned that they will arrest any civilian found wearing attire that resemble police or military uniform, saying the trend has become a security concern. FILE PHOTO |NMG 

Police have warned that they will arrest any civilian found wearing attire that resemble police or military uniform, saying the trend has become a security concern.

The Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet on Tuesday said criminals have also been wearing such attire that ends up confusing the public who are unable to distinguish who a genuine officer is.

Through its Twitter handle, the National Police Service told the public that the habit has to stop or anybody found will face the law.

“Our attention has been drawn to the growing tendency by some persons to don attire resembling Police or Military uniforms which is creating confusion amongst members of the public as to who is a genuine member of any of our security agencies,” read one of the tweets.

“Criminals are also known to put on such attire masquerading as police officers and terrorise members of the public. This practice must stop as it is against the law to wear clothing that have any resemblance to military or police uniforms,” another tweet read.

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The warning comes months after Hessy Wa Dandora, a faceless Kenyan police officer who warns criminals on Facebook before he photographs them dead warned civilians not wear clothes resembling those of the military without a written document from the IG, August last year.

His warning read in part, “Wenye kuvaa hizi nguo muachane nazo kabisa kwa sababu ya usalama wenu (Those wearing combat wear kindly stop for your safety),” he said.

He then warned that if he gets hold of anyone in the clothes, they should not feign ignorance.

In October 2017, a section of the so called Nairobi Business Community showed up for a press conference clad in military fatigue at the Uhuru Park.

The four members of the group appeared in complete American military fatigue including patrol cap, jackets, combat boots and dark shades.

They were part of the Nairobi Business Community who had gathered to petition the Inspector General of Police and the IEBC on the safety of elections.

The National Police Service Act under section 101 (1) states that, “A person other than a police officer who, without the written authority of the Inspector-General puts on or assumes, either in whole or in part, the uniform, name, designation or description of a police officer, or a uniform resembling or intended to resemble the uniform of a police officer is guilty.”

Section 279 of the KDF Act provides for “imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year” for offenders.

If one is found guilty they are subject to a 10 year imprisonment, a fine not exceeding Sh1 million or both.



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