Women leaders in Kisumu have expressed concerns over increased cases of police killings in the country.
The leaders claimed women and children remain key victims in the police actions during political demonstrations.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the women calling themselves ‘Wamama Mashinani’ made their clarion call to duty bearers to pay keen attention to what they termed as atrocities meted by police on the area residents.
In their call, the women expressed concerns with President William Ruto for his blanket condemnation of victims of police brutality, while lauding the police for a ‘job well done’.
hat Kenya are we living in where our lives are nothing? Is there a law that says women and children, our husbands, fathers, and daughters in this region do not deserve protection, have no purpose, do not belong in this country?Claris Adongo
They said the President’s comments did not go well with the many families that lost their loved ones and those nursing injuries due to police actions.
“What Kenya are we living in where our lives are nothing? Is there a law that says women and children, our husbands, fathers, and daughters in this region do not deserve protection, have no purpose, do not belong in this country?” read in part the statement read by Claris Adongo, representing Nyalenda.
The statement went on: “We are the bottom up you talked about, as a commander in chief, you showed your true intentions against us by allowing the police to abuse their power and cause pain, harm, and anger that we now feel.”
Police victims not demonstrators
Since March, anti-government demos have been gaining ground, with Opposition calling on the public to come out against high cost of living.
In the month of March alone, it was recorded that police killed 12 demonstrators.
According to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report, of the 12 people killed in March, most of them were passers-by and by-standers who were not involved in the demonstrations.
The killings have since been on an upward trajectory since the return of anti-government demonstrations which commenced on July 7, baptized SABA SABA demos.
The recent attacks on civilians by the men and women in uniform was a traumatizing event. In Kisumu, Police were seen attacking people in their homesteads and beating them to a pulp.
In a video recorded by a Kisumu resident and shared on social media, four officers in full police gear could be seen beating a man in his homestead with sticks.
A number of Kisumu residents around Nyalenda, Manyatta, Obunga, Nyawita, Sondu and Nyamasaria have since lost some of their loved ones while others are still nursing their wounds.
Sondu border conflict
Apart from the common wananchi being attacked, arrested and detained, leaders allied to the opposition who are key in criticizing the government have not been spared either.
‘Wamama Mashinani’ noted that there continues to be peddled hate speech against people from Opposition strongholds, due to their participation in the demos.
They called on police to take non-partisan approach in dealing with ethnic conflicts at Sondu, at the border of Kisumu and Kericho, so as to avoid political escalations.
“The police took sides in this conflict where we were attacked into our own homes with teargas, bows, and arrows. The police response? Nothing! We screamed for help to stop the beatings, but the police just watched and did nothing,” noted Ms Mwatomu Husein, representing Nyamasaria.