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Why the Police Brutality on Children, Civilians and the Media in Kenya?

Volume 14, Issue 2  | 
Published 27/10/2017
Alexander Ernesto Khamala Namugugu Opicho

Poet, essayist and a short story writer from Bokoli village ,  Bungoma County, Western Kenya. His Phd research in Management is about the gender-fluids as managers. He believes that praxis of literature is an actuation of freedom

Following the August 8 presidential election in Kenya, one child was shot dead by the anti-riot police while playing on the balcony of her home in Mathare. In Kisumu a six months old baby was clobbered on the head by the police. The clobbered baby is still under the Intensive Care Unit at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu. Both the parents of the baby also sustained serious injuries from the beating. The journalist that tried to cover the story was arrested and detained until now.

Similarly, the un-armed protestors were also tear-gassed and sprayed by acidic water. In a contrast to the expected, the Nairobi police boss, Japheth Koome, told journalists that the police were forced to engage in a shoot-out with criminal gangs and that Stephanie, the shot girl, may have been caught up in the exchange of fire. Even though the law in Kenya requires that a criminal suspect has to be tried in court of law before the decision of the nature and size of punishment is arrived at.

The Kenya constitution also recognizes sanctity of human life including the life of those facing criminal charges. In a word, the government of Kenya under Uhuru Kenyatta has used state brutality to crush the concerns of the citizens about validity of the recently announced presidential election results.

In expressing concern the civil societies and the human rights organizations remarked that, ‘we note with concern that women and children are the most affected when violence is left to rule. The government should deescalate any form of violence,' this was a statement from, Action Aid, Trocaire, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. The violence is a collective reaction by the people of Kenya to presidential results perceived to be faked by the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta who was declared the winner of the August 8 elections after garnering 8,203,290 votes so that he could beat opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga whose results are perceived to have been lowered to 6,762,224 votes.

The local media in Kenya has been frustrated only to resort to covering rosy and cosmetic news like increased number of women elected in Kenya and the Githeri man, who was eating maize-mealie in order to with-stand the long queue during the Election Day. Brutality on the children, the civil societies, the media and civilians is forced into oblivion. This is wrong for all institutions of democracy in Kenya, and the media being one of them, must in a unison, condemn acts of brutality that the state  has of-late  perpetrated on its citizens, whether under the threat of death or not.

Alexander Opicho, (from Lodwar, Kenya)