Police on the spot again over shooting of two in Kahawa

Thursday, August 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Anti-riot police patrol Kahawa West during demos following the killing of a tuk tuk rider, who was protesting the demolition of roadside structures, yesterday. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

Two people were yesterday shot dead in Kahawa West in Nairobi yesterday during a protest over a dawn demolition.

Properties worth millions of shillings were also destroyed during the protest that has once again put police on the spotlight over the manner in which they handle protests.

Killings took place barely a week after officers enforcing curfew orders also shot another man dead in Kayole.

Witnesses said one of the deceased was a tut tuk rider, only identified as Alex. He was shot on the head by police at the roundabout along the Northern bypass. The other victim is said to be a boda boda rider, who was also shot on the head.

“Police shot Alex at a close range and he bled to death. The other victim was bleeding from one side of the head and was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed,” a trader told People Daily.

One of the bodies was taken to the City Mortuary and booked as ‘unknown male adult.’

Two factions

Demolitions were done at night and traders who owned structures on the side of a road leading to Kamiti Prisons from the Farmers Choice area were shocked to find them flattened yesterday morning.

They claimed the demolitions were done without notice leading to the loss of their sole source of livelihoods. 

As a result, they blocked the main road leading to Kahawa West from Kiambu road and lighting bonfires.

 Kasarani Sub-County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo, however, defended his officers, saying the locals had resorted to looting.

“When you confront an officer who is armed, what do you expect? That he runs away and leaves people’s property to be looted? We cannot allow that,” Mwanzo said. 

Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) chairperson Ann Makori said they had launched investigations into the killing, saying they had only received a report of the death of one person.

“Ipoa today received information on the death of a man in Kahawa West, Kiambu county when police allegedly responded to contain demonstrations over kiosk demolitions. The authority has launched investigations into the death,” Makori said.

Human Rights organisations, including the Independent Medico-Legal Unit and the International Justice Mission condemned the National Police Service to act and stop these killings.

IJM Kenya called on police officers to use minimum force while managing crowds during protests.

“According to media reports, a young man was allegedly shot dead by police officers in Kahawa West during a protest.

We condole with the family of the bereaved and at the same time urge Ipoa and the Internal Affairs Unit to investigate the death and bring those culpable to account,” IJM stated.

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