Man in court for selling clothes resembling military uniform



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A clothes seller has found himself in trouble after he was found selling garments that resemble police and military uniform.

But while appearing in court in Nyeri on Tuesday, Mr Joseph Ndurere Waititu said that he innocently bought the consignment at Gikomba market in Nairobi.

He told Senior Resident Magistrate Ruth Kefa that as a mitumba dealer, he cannot tell what is inside a bale until he opens it.

At the same time, the trader said a directive by former Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet in January ordering police to arrest anyone found donning clothes that resemble military or police uniforms, was aimed at killing businesses.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The hearing of the case was adjourned to May 28.

On January 30, Mr Boinnet ordered the arrest of civilians wearing clothes that resemble military or police uniforms.

The former IG said that incidents of civilians wearing replicas of such uniforms was creating confusion as wananchi could not distinguish genuine police officers from civilians.


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