June 26th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

In new sign of overreach, Mombasa police ban night wedding parties, unless conveners pay for their protection

The politician said local leaders would seek in the coming days to know more about the legality of the directive. However, County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed said anyone who ignores the directive will be arrested.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 18 Aug 2016 17:11 EAT

The provincial administration and local Police bosses in Mombasa have banned overnight wedding ceremonies as part of efforts to address insecurity.

The County Security Committee announced on Tuesday that all wedding parties should stop at 10pm unless their conveners obtain special permits under which the police will provide security at the events.

In keeping with the popular Swahili culture, Mombasa residents often host big post-wedding celebrations in which family members and friends make merry the whole night.

Those organizing wedding parties that would go beyond 10pm will henceforth apply for police protection, at a fee. The fees have not been disclosed, but the development raised questions about the police preparedness to provide its services to the public.

“If citizens are going to provide money for police protection, we must agree that ours is a failing state. This is like telling us that the police will take a holiday from their work after 10pm, unless we pay for their work,” an MCA who wished to remain anonymous told the Free Press.

The politician said local leaders would seek in the coming days to know more about the legality of the directive. However, County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed said anyone who ignores the directive will be arrested.

Mr Mohammed said the decision was reached following a rise in knife attacks in Majengo, Old Town and Kisauni by gangs that are suspected to target women coming from wedding parties.

Five gang members have been shot dead and more than 30 arrested in the crackdown against the gangs which go by the names Wakali Kwanza and Wakali Wao.

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