Hawker in court for selling ‘military’ clothes that Boinet warned Kenyans

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A hawker who alleges to have sourced clothes from Gikomba market has found himself in trouble for selling attires which the former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet warned against.

Boinnet had warned civilians found donning attires resembling police or military uniform, further saying that criminals masquerading as security officers have been terrorising members of the public, adding that anyone found with clothing resembling that of the service men and women will be arrested and charged in court.

Joseph Ndurere Waititu

Mr Joseph Ndurere Waititu told Senior Resident Magistrate Ruth Kefa that he innocently bought the consignment at Gikomba market in Nairobi and that as a mitumba dealer, he cannot tell what is inside a bale until he opens it.

During cross-examining by Corporal Edwin Karasia who arrested him, Mr Waititu wondered how the clothes can be said to be similar to those of the disciplined forces yet they do not have official emblems of the Kenya National Police Service or the military.

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Boinet had argued that the uniforms were creating confusion amongst members of the public as to who is a genuine member of any of our security agencies.
“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,” Former inspector general said.

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But Mr Waititu wondered what the government was worried about, saying some of the clothes seized from him were for children.

“The clothes do not have insignia of the Kenya police attached to them. Some have emblems of the British army and others have motorbikes images,” he told the court.

Mr Karasia testified that he arrested the trader on March 19, 2019 along Gakere Road in Nyeri town on orders from the Nyeri Central OCS.

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He told the court that he found Mr Waititu with 30 pairs of trousers, 11 shirts, one t-shirt and two shorts, all resembling police uniform.

“The clothes found with the accused look like those of the police. He did not have a letter from inspector-general of police allowing him to possess such clothes as stipulated in the law,” said the officer who produced the clothes in court as exhibit.

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