Al Jazeera News has carried an article showcasing how the Kenya Police are more dangerous than Coronavirus.
The article which was submitted by Kenyan Political activist and author Nanjala Nyabola paints a grim picture and puts into perspective the old Kenyan adage that ‘you are more at risk of being killed by police than criminals in Kenya’.
Since the curfew was announced weeks ago, coronavirus deaths stand at 7 people, the number of Kenyans killed by police is more. There are those who have also been maimed by beatings from the same police which is supposed to be a service rather than a force.
After the curfew was announced in March, many Kenyans found themselves under the killer boots of the Kenyan police for reasons many did not understand.
“There was no warning, they just started to beat people, everyone on the road – it didn’t matter your age, even grandparents – all were being beaten”, stated a food vendor from Mathare named Nyambura.
The case of a 13-year-old – Yassin Hussein Moyo- the victim of police brutality and impunity was the most shocking.
Young Yasin was shot while watching the events of the curfew from their home balcony in the slums of Mathare.
Though President Uhuru Kenyatta offered an apology, the police still beat people the next day.
Some sections also felt that the president didn’t offer a good-hearted apology as he used the words “if”.
The president said:
“I want to apologise to all Kenyans for … some excesses that were conducted,” he said on Wednesday in Nairobi. “But I want to assure you that if we work together, if we all understand that this problem needs all of us, and if we pull in the same direction, we will overcome.”
“Regardless of the nature of the threat and its significance, it seems that Kenya’s government has already resorted to the most unsophisticated tool in its arsenal – police violence”, Nanjala wrote on Al Jazeera.
She warns that violence does not necessarily attract obedience, even as she called out other regimes, specifically those of India, Uganda, South Africa, Egypt, stating that they have ‘collapsed to arbitrary violence against civilians under the guise of enforcing curfews and stay-at-home orders’.
“Much like the racist policing of the past, violence may deliver short-term compliance but it cannot hold once the public realises that they vastly outnumber the police. What will we do with the people if they do not understand why they must stay home?”, she posses
Becasue most of the victims of police brutaitty are from the informal settlements, she argues, their plight is often washed under the carpet.
“According to media reports, between October 2018 and September 2019, the Kenyan police killed 189 people. The average age of those killed was 28, and in 75 per cent of these cases, the police allege that the victims were criminals and thugs, even where there is compelling evidence to the contrary. And as most of the victims were in informal settlements and away from the middle-and-upper-class gaze, the crime narrative is rarely challenged”.
Kenya now has had 191 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 31 cases have been closed; with 24 recovering while the rest dying.
The youngest to be infected is a 2-year old, the youngest to die was 6 years old.
The government also seems intent on punishing bloggers more than keeping the people safe.
Since the confirmation of covid-19 virus in Kenya, 2 prominent bloggers Cyprian Nyakundi and Robert Alai have been arrested for sharing what the government termed as fake news about coronavirus.
However, most of their writing have been confirmed true at this point in time.
KenyanBussinessfeed.com condemns the violence meted against the sovereign people of Kenya.
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