Amid reports that police robbed and shot unarmed protesters, Kenya Police Service spokesman Charles Owino has come out to argue that the force need not be remorseful for the killings that occurred on Monday.
Recall that during the latest CORD protest against top officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, there was a lot of violence between the police and the protesters, a situation which has created a lot of ripples on the media.
Speaking to the media in Nyeri on Tuesday, Mr Owino said the police owe no apologies to the relatives of the dead nor to the government, warning protesters not to pose risk to the lives of officers because police are obligated to ensure their own safety before protecting the public.
Mr Charles Owino opined
“Do not threaten the life of a police officer. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves first as we protect the public and other police officers”.
Furthering, Mr Owino defended the excessive use of power by the police officers during Monday’s demonstration, saying every protest will always have an armed party.
Expressing his admiration for the brazen work discharged, the spokesman praised officers particularly the ones who dispersed protesters in Siaya – where two people got killed – as they were engaged in running battles for over six hours.
Mr Owino claimed that the protesters fired stones at officers who responded by “making use of their guns.”
“We are not engaging in any political procession either for the government or the Opposition,”
Mr Owino mocked the Opposition leaders for dashing out when they saw anti-riot officers assemble, stating that it was unfortunate and disappointing that the uncontrolled crowd was ditched by the leaders who left them to absorb all the dispelling weapons. Mr Owino quipped
“You are the convener of the demonstration, why should you run?”
The police spokesman added that they will not hesitate to detain Opposition leaders and arraign them in court.
“We are not afraid of any one. We will arrest the Opposition’s leaders if the law so requires and make sure they are charged in a court of law.”
CORD protest turned bloody on Monday after police clashed with “peaceful protesters” who say they want IEBC kicked out. Following the clash, three people were reported dead with two in Siaya and one in Kisumu.
The man shot dead in Kisumu was going into a banking hall when he met his death. It was reported that the police robbed the unconcious victims of their valuable belongings before other protesters were able to rush them to hospitals.
Also residents of Kisumu City were caught burning “IEBC coffins” on the street before the clash with the force. School children were also teargassed during the protest.
About ten Mombasa demonstrators who fell into the net of police and were taken to the police station were caught protesting right inside police station and into the cells.
Following the shooting of three people by police in Kisumu and Siaya, US, UN and UK have issued a cautionary warning to Kenya, predicting possible bloodbath, if the protest continues.
President Uhuru and his allies have been defiant over coming at the round table with opposition, to dialogue with the party, while CORD leaders have promised to spread the protests to Jubilee strongholds in Nakuru and Meru Counties.