BURNING OF 28 SENGWER HOMES IN EMBOBUT FOREST, ELGEYO MARAKWET

On 10 July 2020, 28 homes were burnt in Kapkok Glade leaving families with no shelter. The Kenyan Constitution and the 2012 Land Act prohibit such forced evictions. We condemn these actions in the Embobut forest and call for adherence to the Constitution.

On May 11,2020, the President through Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i issued a moratorium on forced evictions during the pandemic.

On 13th July eight human rights and conservation organizations  issued out joint statement raising their  concern and condemning the   BURNING OF 28 SENGWER HOMES IN EMBOBUT FOREST, ELGEYO MARAKWET.

The eight organisation calls on the Government of Kenya to immediately:

  • Make a Ministerial Statement to halt the KFS operation and forced evictionsin Embobut Forest;
  • Adhere to theConstitution, the Land Actand thePresidential declaration of a moratorium on evictions for the period of COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Ensurethat all those affected canlive peacefully in the forest glades, no further retaliation happens to Sengwer community membersand that those responsible are brought to justice;
  • Provide shelter and basic needs for the affected families.

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On 10 July 2020, 28 homes were burnt in Kapkok Glade leaving families with no shelter. The Kenyan Constitution and the 2012 Land Act prohibit such forced evictions. We condemn […]

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REGIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY JOINT STATEMENT ON THE ONSLAUGHT OF CIVIC SPACE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE IN EAST AFRICA

 We, the undersigned representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating within the East African Community and operating under the East African Community (EAC) Consultative Dialogue Framework (CDF) met through a webinar on 19th June 2020, convened by EACSOF Kenya Chapter, to discuss continued threats to civic space due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The discussion was prompted by the growing need to foster a more coordinated regional approach to address the severe threats to civic space in the EAC region.

We wish to commend the EAC partner states for taking actions to control the spread of Covid-19. We are aware, however, that various challenges have undermined efforts to have a collective approach to the pandemic. We, nonetheless, congratulate governments in the region for taking the pandemic as a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of their citizens.

State of civil society amidst COVID-19

The lack of a collective approach based on similar standards has meant that reactions to Covid-19 are largely in line with domestic governance conditions. In countries where civic space was already severely threatened, the directives have tended to be more severe. In such situations, Covid-19 restrictions have merely added to the factors that deny citizens their essential freedoms such as freedom to assemble, freedom to associate, etc.

We note further the rights to information and the freedom of expression have been threatened across the board. In their efforts to control the spread of disinformation, governments have targeted and undermined these rights. Human rights activists and social media influencers are among those who have experienced threats from the authorities due to the information shared on their social media platforms, mainly challenging the government to account for the use of funds. The media and journalists, already under severe constraints in several countries, have faced increasing challenges including threats to suspend licenses and harassment of individual journalists in the course of duty. There has been a surge in cases of police brutality in the process of enforcing restrictions thus undermining ongoing police reforms.

Even though we acknowledge the importance of necessary measures to control Covid-19, the widespread abuses of human rights especially by security forces, have undermined citizens’ faith in what governments are doing to control the spread of the virus. In several cases, this has led to demonstrations, which in turn has created conditions for further spread of the virus. We, therefore, agree with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights and other human rights bodies across the world, which have emphasized that restrictions must be lawful and reasonable.

Given the above, and the need to continue building a prosperous Africa through continental and regional integration, we recommend the following to the governments of the six EAC partner states:

  1. That there is a need to recognize and harness the leadership, mobilization and educational potential inherent in the civil society so that a more effective partnership approach is engendered in response to Covid-19;
  2. Take immediate action to eliminate Extra-Judicial Killings (EJK) as well as other human rights abuses by security officials in charge of enforcing restrictions. Where such abuses have occurred, responsible state institutions must move with speed to investigate and bring to book those responsible. The state must also provide support to victims of such abuses;
  3. That there is a need to continue working towards a collective approach to control of Covid-19 by the EAC partner states. This is partly necessitated by the need to handle practical challenges being currently experienced in the region such as the issue of truckers and movement of goods;
  4. The collective approach envisioned above must be human rights friendly in line with the East African Community Treaty, which under “Establishment and Principles of the Community” (Chapter Two) emphasizes “adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice”;
  5. Observe the principles of accountability and transparency in all processes related to control of Covid-19. This includes procurement processes through which countries are sourcing material supplies for purposes of dealing with the pandemic. Partner States must, at all costs, mitigate against rent-seeking, profiteering and other forms of corruption;
  6. Support community healthcare systems (such as Community Health Workers) as the first lines of defense in controlling the spread of COVID-19 due to their role in sensitization, supporting vulnerable communities at the village level, and in urban informal settlements. We note, for example, that community health workers and level one facilities require the provision of adequate protective gear, testing kits, and other materials; and
  7. We support partner states call for debt relief to focus more resources on Covid-19. However, this does not preclude the need to bring to account those responsible for the accumulation of odious debts and large-scale looting.

In solidarity with the East African Community, partner states and Civil Society Organizations in East Africa Region.

          

The statement is endorsed by

  1. The East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF)
  2. The East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF) Kenya Chapter
  3. Tanzania Association of NGOs (TANGO)
  4. Defenders Coalition Kenya
  5. Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Association (DENIVA)
  6. The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-U)
  7. Rwanda Women’s Network
  8. Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP)
  9. Burundi Journalists Union
  10. Forum pour la Conscience et le Development (FOCODE)
  11. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO),
  12. Freedom House, Tanzania
  13. Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG)
  14. Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU)

 

ABOUT EACSOF KENYA CHAPTER

The East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF) Kenya Chapter is a membership Non-Governmental Organization founded in 2013. It is the Kenyan Chapter of EACSOF, which is based in Arusha and whose mission is to provide a platform and catalyze a critical mass of organized civil society to engage in need-driven, people-centered East Africa integration and cooperation process effectively and proactively for equitable and sustainable development. EACSOF Kenya hosts the Protection of Civic Space in East Africa Platform (PCSEAP) which regularly assess, monitors and documents civic space trends and facilitates continued learning, sharing of best practices and innovative strategies for CSOs in East Africa.

 

E-mail: eacsofke@gmail.com

Website: http://www.eacsofkenya.org/

 

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President Uhuru Kenyatta lifts Covid-19 restrictions

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced phased reopening of the country as the government moved to relax Covid-19 restrictions.

The president said cessation of movement into and out of the capital Nairobi, and Mombasa and Mandera counties would lapse on Tuesday 4am, allowing people to travel into and out of these counties. He, however, extended the nationwide 9pm-4am curfew for 30 days.

“By reopening Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera, we are more at risk than we were when the restrictions were in place.  We must, therefore, exercise cautious optimism, and avoid reckless abandon,” said Mr Kenyatta, who promised to have the orders reviewed should the virus spread widely.

“Should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge to our health infrastructure, it shall be ‘clawed back’.”

In the next 21 days, the country will study patterns of interactions and the spread of the disease.

“Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lockdown,” the president said.

He cautioned that the country had not met minimum requirements to reopen the economy.

“According to the experts and stakeholders, we have not met the irreducible minimum 100 per cent. However, consensus amongst them is that we have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across the country to allow us to reopen,” Mr Kenyatta added.

WORSHIP

The president also allowed reopening of places of worship, restricting them to one-hour services and no more than 100 people at a time. Places of worship will be required to strictly adhere to safety protocols in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Sunday Schools and Madrassas will, however, remain closed.

No congregants under 13 years or over 58 years should be allowed in places of worship, Mr Kenyatta added. Those with underlying health conditions have also been cautioned against congregating to worship.

He asked Kenyans to continue adhering to Covid-19 safety measures to prevent spread of the disease.

“It is your duty and good will to defend and protect yourself and family and environment…Minimise unnecessary movements, delay upcountry travel, adhere to protocols,” he added.

He also urged citizens to minimise unnecessary contact with the elderly, children and those vulnerable to the virus.

The president further said that the Ministry of Education shall jointly with all stakeholders notify the public on the resumption of the 2020 Academic Calendar for basic education and tertiary institutions, by Tuesday.

FLIGHTS

The president also announced changes in transportation protocols, saying that public service vehicles moving in and out of areas which were previously under cessation of movement will require mandatory certification from the Ministry of Health in consultation with the Ministry of Transport.

Local flights will resume on July 15, 2020 in strict conformity with guidelines and protocols issued by the Health ministry.

“International Air Travel into and out of the territory of the Republic of Kenya shall resume effective 1st August, 2020; in strict conformity with all protocols from the Ministry of Health, local and international civil aviation authorities, and any additional requirements applicable at the ports of departure, arrival or transit,” he added.

CAMPAIGNS

However, politicians keen to carry out campaigns for 2022 were not so lucky. Restrictions on political gatherings and any other gathering were extended by another 30 days.

Further, the President extended the restriction on the reopening of bars as well as wedding and funeral attendance.

Mr Kenyatta also directed the ministries of Health and Trade to establish protocols before the resumption of importation of second-hand clothes and shoes.

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced phased reopening of the country as the government moved to relax Covid-19 restrictions. The president said cessation of movement into and out of […]

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Report flags Kenya as a hotspot for human trafficking

A new US report on global human trafficking trends has put Kenya in the list of countries with the worst human trafficking problems in the world.

The Trafficking in Persons Report 2020 report says traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Kenya and exploit victims.

“Within the country, traffickers exploit children through forced labour in domestic service, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending, and begging,” says the report.

It was released on Wednesday in Washington at a ceremony attended by US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The report’s findings say traffickers in Kenya exploit girls and boys in commercial sex, including sex tourism on the Coast, Nairobi and Kisumu, particularly in informal settlements, noting that family members facilitate the exploitation. Traffickers also exploit teenage boys from nomadic tribes into cattle rustling, it said.

Children are also exploited in sex trafficking by people working in khat (miraa) cultivation areas and near gold mines in western Kenya, truck drivers on highways, and fishermen on Lake Victoria.

NGOs reported that internally displaced persons, particularly those who live close to a major highway or local trading centre, are more vulnerable to trafficking than persons in settled communities.

The report says Kenyans are recruited by legal or illegal employment agencies or voluntarily migrate to Europe, Northern Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East — particularly Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, and Oman.

They go to such locations in search of employment but in some cases are exploited in massage parlours and brothels or in forced into manual labour or domestic service.

Nairobi-based labour recruiters maintain networks in Uganda and Ethiopia that hire Rwandan, Ethiopian, and Ugandan workers through fraudulent offers of employment.

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A new US report on global human trafficking trends has put Kenya in the list of countries with the worst human trafficking problems in the world. The Trafficking in Persons […]

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Kenya to reopen its airspace despite increasing Covid-19 cases

Kenya is set to reopen its airspace for domestic flights, allow religious gatherings and inter-county tourism and travel in a bid to salvage its battered economy, even as the number of Covid-19 infections continue to rise sharply.

President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to review the months-long Covid-19 lockdown measures that are supposed to lapse on July 6, ending more than three months of strict shutdowns of different sectors of the economy.

“We will soon start domestic flights and this is what we will use as our trial in readiness for international travel over the next couple of days,” said President Kenyatta last week, pointing to lifting of a ban on travel into and out of Nairobi and Mombasa, the country’s biggest cities. It is however not clear whether the 9pm to 4am countrywide curfew will be lifted.

The reopening will be guided by protocols put in place in different sectors of the economy.

The tourism sector, which has been hard-hit by the government-imposed restriction on movement, has developed a set of re-opening protocols, which received a stamp of approval from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on July 1.

“I am delighted to announce that Kenya has been listed among the 80 global destinations certified and authorised to use the “World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travel Stamp” together with our Magical Kenya Logo. This stamp will allow travellers to recognise Kenya as a safe destination once we reopen and implement the health and safety protocols,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. The protocols seek to ensure service provision meets required guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

They will also ensure a safe experience for visitors.

A 15-member interfaith council chaired by Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese, has been holding deliberations on the protocol for re-opening places of worship.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last month appointed an 18-member committee to advise on the resumption of sporting activities in the country.

The national government has been pushing county administrations to build capacity of at least 300 ICU beds per county in readiness for the ease in travel restrictions, which is expected to trigger a surge in new cases countrywide.

A progress report last week showed county governments had set up 6,898 isolation beds against the national target of 30,500 units.

Covid-19 cases have been rising in the country at an alarming rate. The number of infected people stood at 7,188 on July 3, with 154 deaths. Daily positive cases hit an all-time high of 307 in June.

More than 10.9 million people have caught the virus globally, with deaths exceeding 521,000.

Kenya Airways Board chairman Michael Joseph in an interview with The EastAfrican said the national carrier is ready to resume flights as early as July 8, once the travel restrictions are lifted.

“We are ready to re-open. We have put in place protocols as required by both local and international standards including the boarding and checking-in situation,” said Mr Joseph.

Several airlines are considering keeping the middle seats empty to avoid passengers sitting directly next to each other.

Mr Joseph, however, argues that it is not commercially viable to operate half-empty flights. “Planes require a load factor of over 66.7 per cent to make any profit. It is not commercially viable to keep the middle seats empty and therefore the normal plane seating arrangement will be maintained,” he said, adding, “We will enforce other measures including wearing masks, sanitisation, controlled boarding, and limiting contact.”

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Kenya is set to reopen its airspace for domestic flights, allow religious gatherings and inter-county tourism and travel in a bid to salvage its battered economy, even as the number […]

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Kenya shelves Naivasha SGR depot cargo pick-up orde

The State has backed down from its earlier directive on the use of standard gauge railway (SGR) for all cargo destined to Nairobi and beyond following pressure from regional economies.

Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia told Parliament that regional governments demanded additional developments at the Naivasha inland container depot (ICD) before the directive to pick cargo from the facility can be implemented.

The decision is a huge reprieve to freighters who risked losing hundreds of jobs following the ban on use of trucks to transport cargo from Mombasa.

In May, Mr Macharia announced that all cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan will be transported through the SGR for clearance at the ICD starting June 1.

“Stakeholders have requested additional infrastructure investment within the Naivasha ICD. This includes an expanded marshalling yard,” David Pkosing, who chairs the Transport committee said in a statement to the House.

Mr Pkosing was responding to a statement sought by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir over a directive that truck drivers pick up transit cargo from Naivasha ICD depot.

He said Mr Macharia confirmed that the ministry is undertaking additional investments at the Naivasha ICD including an expanded marshalling yard and works are expected to be completed by July 15 The committee said the May order by Mr Macharia was informed by the need to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

“The CS told us that the directive was as a result of consultations between the East African heads of States and follow up meetings by ministers responsible for transport in the region,” he said.

Mr Pkosing added that the committee and Mr Macharia reached an agreement that the directive be put on hold pending consultations with local and regional stakeholders.

“The directive that transporters pick cargo destined for transit from Naivasha ICD is no longer compulsory but is now optional.

“As such, we find this decision by the Ministry of Transport satisfactory for the time being pending our inquiry set to be concluded in a month,” Mr Pkosing said in response to a statement sought by Mr Nassir.

Mr Nassir, also Mvita MP, had demanded an inquiry into the directive issued by Mr Macharia.

He had also sought to know why importers were being compelled to transport cargo destined to Nairobi and the county’s hinterland via the SGR when an earlier order issued jointly by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) had been suspended by the Ministry.

Mr Pkosing said the order to transport all cargo to Nairobi ICD via SGR was suspended and continues to remain in force to date.

Mr Nassir confirmed the committee and the Ministry had reached a deal that the two orders be lifted and that thorough stakeholder consultations be undertaken to resolve existing grievances

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The State has backed down from its earlier directive on the use of standard gauge railway (SGR) for all cargo destined to Nairobi and beyond following pressure from regional economies. […]

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New reality for business leaders in post-Covid era

East African businesses will have to change in order to survive after the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a survey released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled East Africa’s Rebound, workers will have to adapt to the new reality to ensure near-term business continuity in the region.

“Covid-19 has had a significant economic impact across East Africa. Global shocks and local restrictions aimed at curbing the virus spread have severely impacted businesses across sectors,” states the report.

The International Monetary Fund has revised its 2020 projection for the EAC GDP growth rate from six per cent to 1.8 per cent.

Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya established strict restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, while other countries in the region took less restrictive approaches.

BCG Nairobi office Managing Director Mills Schenck said containing Covid-19 will be a daunting journey for East African businesses.

“Business leaders will need to tailor strategies for uncertain disease progression scenarios, global market dislocations, and shifting consumer behaviour,” he said.

NEW METHODS

To ensure near-term business continuity, the study recommends new methods of cash and liquidity management while ensuring products and services serve the preferences of customers, whose consumption patterns have changed to accommodate their lower purchasing power.

The report also points at the use of Big Data analytics in cutting costs and boosting brand confidence.

“Firms will have to hire and maintain a dedicated team to track data, assess business impact, and plan for different scenarios,” the survey says.

Since most consumers have moved online due to government directives to contain the virus, business leaders should invest in the digital customer experience.

According to BCG, governments can support businesses to capitalise on opportunities by removing barriers to trade across the region, which would empower local manufacturers.

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East African businesses will have to change in order to survive after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a survey released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled East Africa’s Rebound, workers […]

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Clobbered to death for not wearing a face mask

Julius Ouma Orwa was allegedly assaulted to death by police in Migori after he was arrested for not wearing a face mask.[Courtesy]

Three families have become the latest to seek justice for their kin after alleged police assaults.

The latest cases came a day after a government agency released a report exposing the depth of torture and deaths caused by security officers in the name of implementing coronavirus restrictions.In Nyarago village of Uriri, Migori County, a family is in mourning after their kin was allegedly clobbered to death by police officers for not wearing a face mask.Julius Ouma, 68, was said to have been walking home from Awendo town where he works when he met two officers near Nyarago bridge.

Ouma’s son, Phillip Orwa, said the officers accosted the old man, demanding to know why he was not wearing a face mask.“Just before he could explain himself, the officers pounced on him, hitting him on the head,” said Orwa.While on the ground, the officers hit his legs with batons, leaving him for dead.Witnesses who watched from a distance took him to his home, a few kilometres away.Family members then took him to a local private hospital where he was admitted, while complaining of pain in the head and leg.

He lost his ability to speak after two days and died on Monday while undergoing treatment.The family now wants the unidentified officers brought to book for his death.“It is sad that the officers chose to beat him up instead of arresting him and charging him,” said Orwa.Yesterday, County Police Commander Celestine Nyaga declined to comment on the matter, saying she was yet to get such reports.In Nakuru, human rights organisations have petitioned Inspector General (IG) of Police and Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) to investigate a case where a 27-year-old man was allegedly shot and injured by the police.
According to Human Rights Network (Nahurinet), the police are intimidating the victim and lodging extra crimes against him.Police claim that Jackson Ondiek who is currently admitted at Eldama Ravine Hospital, is a suspected thief, who defied a dusk to dawn curfew on June 7, 2020.Ondiek says he failed to get a means of transport home and was caught up by the curfew, leading to his shooting.Nahurinet’s David Kuria said the victim’s health continues to deteriorate.“We need Ipoa and the IG to look into it to enable the victim get justice,” said Kuria.
According to Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU), at least 56 cases of human right violations perpetrated by law enforcement agencies have been reported, among them 19 deaths. The figures cover the period between February and June this year.The violations are perpetrated by the police, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Services and administrative officers.“Out of the 56, 19 deaths are as a result of shooting whereas 37 are of injuries sustained as a result of physical, psychological and sexual assault,” reads a report by the human rights organisation.Ondiek, a chicken seller from Mumberes village in Eldama Ravine, told The Standard that he was shot at Makutano area on his way back home.The police accused him of planning to break into a shop at Makutano Centre, then said he was caught with stolen property, only to later allege he was planning to attack them. after buying three chicken at the centre,” said Ondiek.Baringo police commander Robinson Ndiwa dismissed the allegations, saying Ondiek is a suspect in a theft case.He could not say what he had stolen, but maintained he had assorted items including school uniforms belonging to children.For Daniel Mutua, June 16 become a grim reminder of the moment he almost lost his life at the hands of police.Mutua, a catering student at Probation Training College in Likoni, is now nursing severe injuries on his right eye and jaw after he was allegedly attacked by police officers on patrol.In the alleged attack, he lost a tooth and the pain in his body grows by the day.The fourth born in a family of seven who hails from Kathiani in Machakos County had been studying in Mombasa and was unable to travel back home.He trained to ride a motorcycle and sought employment to eke a living. The 22-year-old had just dropped a client at Ujamaa area and was in a hurry back home at Migombani area to beat the curfew.At Kona Mpya, he says he saw a police van parked by the roadside at around 8:40pm.As soon as he passed it, one of the officers emerged from behind and hit him on the jaw. He lost control and landed in a ditch some meters away from where the vehicle had been parked.Yesterday, Likoni sub-county police commander Jane Munywoki claimed she was not aware of the matter. But Mutua says his efforts to get his statement recorded at the police station so he can pursue justice has hit a snag as police keep on taking him around in circles.

Julius Ouma Orwa was allegedly assaulted to death by police in Migori after he was arrested for not wearing a face mask.[Courtesy] Three families have become the latest to seek […]

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They have killed us more than corona’: Kenya Police Brutality amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Police brutality in Kenya is not new and with the COVID- 19 pandemic the police remains to be accused of using excessive force and violence in the name of imposing the lockdown.

On March 25, President Kenyatta announced a government plan for a nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew starting March 27. Police appear to have enforced it chaotically and violently from the start. In downtown Nairobi, police arrested people on streets, whipping, kicking, and herding them together, increasing the risks of spreading the virus. In the Embakasi area of eastern Nairobi, police officers forced a group of people walking home from work to kneel, then whipped and kicked them, witnesses told Human Rights Watch.

In Mombasa, on March 27, more than two hours before curfew took effect, police teargassed crowds lining up to board a ferry back home from work, beating them with batons and gun butts, kicking, slapping, and forcing them to huddle together or lie on top of each other. Video clips on local television stations and social media showed that the police were not wearing masks and other protective gear, which authorities were encouraging everyone to wear and have since made mandatory.

Despite these killings being well documented by both state and non-state institutions, the policemen responsible for these acts have rarely been held to account including by the police oversight authority. One or two cases that elicit public interest and outrage are investigated for a while with no prosecutions and justice for the victims.

The police authorities and the oversight body have a responsibility to ensure that all current and past killings are thoroughly investigated and that all those implicated are held to account in line with Kenyan law

On March 30, President Uhuru came out to apologize over the use of force by policemen following criticism from various groups over abuses in Mombasa but did not instruct the police to end the abuses.

On 8th June Kenyans held peaceful protests to condemn police brutality and an increase in extrajudicial killing since a dusk-till-dawn curfew was enforced in March to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Below is a highlight of curfew killings/brutality by police stories that have hit media stations

  1. Yassin Hussein Moyo

On March 31, at around midnight in the Kiamaiko neighborhood, in Nairobi’s Eastlands area, the police shot live ammunition at Yassin Hussein Moyo, 13, hitting him in the stomach and killing him, witnesses said. His father, Hussein Moyo, told the Kenyan media that his son was standing on the third-floor balcony at midnight alongside his siblings when the bullet struck him.

  1. Hamisi Juma Kambiriwa

March 27, 2020, After dropping his client who was in labor at Mwahima Likoni Hospital, 49-year-old Hamisi Juma Kambiriwa, a boda-boda operator, was on his way home with another passenger named Hassan Kitosha. Kitosha narrated to Standard Media how they encountered police officers who then hit Juma on the shoulder, this caused him to lose control of the vehicle and they ended up in a ditch filled with muddy water. The officers allegedly left Kitosha to leave but they beat Juma with batons and gun butts. He arrived home at 8 pm, severely injured, but was unable to go to the hospital because of the curfew. His family took him the next morning and he died on Sunday at Msambweni Hospital. IPOA released a statement saying it will be investigating the case.

  1. Calvin Omondi

On March 27, 2020, 26-year-old boda-boda rider, Calvince Omondi, was on his way back from taking a customer from Oyugis to Kendu. On his way home, Omondi met a group of police officers from Kosele Police Station. According to Omondi’s father, the officers stopped Omondi at Kosele trading center and beat him unconscious because he was operating outside curfew hours. The officers then brought him to the hospital. Omondi’s father described to the media how he found his son unconscious and how he remained speechless for 2-days until he died on Sunday morning. Since the incident, IPOA has sent out its Rapid Response Team to investigate the case.

Omondi’s father spoke of how his son left behind a wife and child. Since Omondi was the breadwinner of the family, the family is left in emotional and financial pain. Omondi’s family is left wondering why the police officer used excessive force when they could have just arrested him.

  1. Ramadhan Juma

According to reports, Ramadhan Juma went missing the night of April 1st.  His family was extremely worried especially since Juma had a mental health disability. They set up a search party the next day and found him with critical injuries at Kakamega County Referral Hospital. Juma succumbed to his injuries that morning. It is alleged that Juma’s injuries were the result of police brutality from implementing the curfew. The National Police Service is refuting the claims. Investigations are underway to confirm the circumstances that caused Juma’s death.

  1. Erick Ng’ethe

Erick Ng’ethe was a 23-year-old, who came from a large family where he was the 15th born. Ng’ethe worked as an accountant for the Nile Pub and Restaurant in Diani and had missed a few days of work during the first week of the curfew. On April 1st, he was not in a financial position to miss any more days so he proceeded to go to work. MUHURI reported that around 9 pm, police officers attempted to raid the bar but the main door was locked. The officers broke part of the roof and lobbed tear gas canisters inside forcing Ng’ethe to open the door. The police began physically assaulting customers who were inside. Ng’ethe was choking on tear gas, crawling on the floor when an officer pounded his head with a club.  The police officers took him with them when they left. According to sources, upon realizing Ng’ethe had succumbed to his injuries the police officers attempted to drop his body back at Nile Pub, but they found it was locked. They proceeded to drop it off at Kwale Morgue. When MUHURI accompanied the family members to the morgue they discovered his body with blood all over it and a great depression in the back of his head. Police officers had booked him under “unknown” and stated they found his body on the road. However, this narrative has been refuted by many witnesses. The case is currently under investigation.

  1. Ochieng

On March 27th, 2020, Ochieng was beaten by police officers as he was coming from his father’s, in Korogocho. He succumbed to his injuries.

  1. John Muuo Muli,

On April 5, 2020, John Muuo Muli, a 27-year-old carwash attendant in Ruai, was found by police officers after curfew and the police officers severely beat Muli. According to media reports, Muli’s brother could not take him to the hospital that night because they feared further police harassment. The next morning, Muli went to Mama Lucy Kikabi Hospital and succumbed to his injuries. According to the post-mortem, Muli’s intestines had been raptured as a result of the police beating.

  1. Peter Gacheru

On April 4th, 2020, Peter Gacheru, a 46-year-old mitumba businessman, was found 15-minutes after curfew by police officers. It was reported that Gacheru was closing his shop when he was physically beaten with batons by police officers. Gacheru was found half-conscious and an ambulance took him to PCEA Kikuyu Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

  1. Idris Mukolwe

On April 7, 2020, Idris Mukolwe, a 45- year-old tomato vendor, died from suffocating on a tear gas canister. The tear gas canister was allegedly thrown by security officers who were enforcing the ban on trade in Mumias town. Witnesses interviewed by media claim that the tear gas canister exploded in Mukolwe’s face and he ran out of air and started suffocating. When his friends from the market tried to help him, the police threw another canister at them forcing them to leave their friend alone.

  1. Mzee Maurice

April 13, 2020, Mzee Maurice, a mentally disabled individual from Kakamega, was attacked by police officers after he was found outside past the curfew hours. He was rushed to the hospital the following morning after his sister-in-law found him by the roadside. He passed away on reaching the hospital

  1. Vitalis Owino

Vitalis Owino, a 36-year-old man from Mradi area market in Mathare, left his house around 6 pm to get some food for his family and use the public toilet facilities. For unclear reasons, police officers physically assaulted Owino. Owino succumbed to his injuries. His body was found the next morning in Mradi area market. The body was taken to Muthiaga Police Station after residents blocked area police from picking it up.

  1. Abdallah Mohammed

Abdallah Mohammed was allegedly arrested by the police in Tezo Roka, Kilifi for violating the curfew regulations. It is claimed that the officer assaulted him before being released. Abdallah died while receiving treatment in a nearby clinic.

  1. Elvis Emmanuel Stemo

On May 23, 2020, around 10:30 pm, Elvis Emmanuel Stemo was found outside his home after curfew and was arrested, shot, and killed. The post-mortem report stated his body showed signs of being hit by a blunt object; it also displayed two bullet wounds in the leg and one in the neck.

  1. Maurice Ochieng

Maurice Ochieng died 5 days after being beaten up by police officers for not wearing a mask. He was originally detained at Maseno Police Post on May 20th but was allegedly released after his condition worsened. On May 25th, Ochieng collapsed and was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. The family is waiting for the autopsy report to confirm the cause of death.

June 1, 2020, Mathare, Nairobi A 51-year-old man, known by the community as Vaite was killed in Mathare 3c, around 7:40 pm. Vaite was shot 3 times at a close range, 2 bullets to his thigh, and 1 to his lower abdomen. The police officers were alleging enforcing the curfew, but Vaite was a homeless man and would sleep by the roadside, at the same spot where he was shot. It is alleged that the police officers fled the scene after they shot Vaite, leaving him to bleed to death.

Vaite was well-known by the community, as he would collect and sell plastics during the day, and would sleep outside at night.  He was a university-educated automotive engineer, who suffered a mental breakdown, 10 years ago, after he and his wife split up.

 

 

Recommended solutions to ending police brutality

  1. Demilitarize– police have acquired weapons and are trained in the military-style tactics which spins the narrative that the police are heroes fending off danger and so they must protect themselves at all costs; shoot first, think later. Police reforms should ensure the police are community peacekeepers trying to keep the citizens safe rather than soldiers on the battlefield.
  2. Police the police– police oversight authorities are often highly prized and operate in a closed system. When one officer crosses the line, fellow officers including superiors come out to defend them leaving the incident to the word of the victim against that of a respected law enforcer. The introduction of external oversight and allowing due process to be followed is important to keep the police force in check.
  3. Rewrite the use of force policies that require officers to report the use of force incidents and compels them to intervene where a colleague improperly uses force.
  1. Sue the police– the police as with any other government officials are protected by the doctrine of ‘qualified immunity’ which grants government officials performing discretionary functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. The majority of the police officers are likely to take advantage of such allowances and perform illegal acts. Such doctrines must be revised

Police brutality in Kenya is not new and with the COVID- 19 pandemic the police remains to be accused of using excessive force and violence in the name of imposing […]

Continue reading "They have killed us more than corona’: Kenya Police Brutality amidst COVID-19 Pandemic"

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