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Anti-loitering law

Have you ever been stopped by a security officer on patrol while walking leisurely in public places in the big cities of Kenya? An officer can stop anybody and demand identity card (ID). The failure to produce one may translate into immediate arrest and untold humiliation. Loitering law in Kenya is not well defined. Severally, innocent persons are brutally arrested by police officers due to failure to show original ID while walking in urhan areas. Why is this? In many cases, the victims feel threatened and try to bribe the officer in charge. Such tendency of using arrogance and brutality is also to get tips from the public. It is not in good faith and in line with the administration of justice to harrass a person due to failure to show an ID or passport. Already, many people fear losing their personal documents because, once you lose an ID it may take a long time to get a duplicate. How comes, there are many lost IDs in public offices, buses, and even in the public toilets and no state officer can trace the owners? How comes some people steal others IDs or driving licences and use them without any attention from the police or security officers? How can a person trust police officers when it comes to personal documents. It is common to see hanged IDs of people who have lost them but no state office manages to trace the owners.
There is a story of a Kenyan who had a copy of his passport and was walking with his wife in the evening. He had just accompanied his wife to the immigration office to acquire passport then leave for the USA where the man had acquired residence. Two patrolling officers stopped them and demanded to see their IDs. The man showed his passport and this offended the officers since they saw him as being proud. He was drugged aside while the wife had no document to show. What happened to an expecting wife of the man was very embarrassing.
Loitering law require some drastic review and to craft it in line with the requirements of human rights and international standard.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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