The allegedly dead Cord protester who was filmed being severely beaten by police in Nairobi on Monday is not dead despite earlier reports of his death.
The 36-year-old Boniface Manono, from Kibera in Nairobi, laid down his sad experience at the hands of anti-riot police officers to the media. According to his statement, he alighted from a matatu that headed back from Westlands due to heavy traffic and got into trouble with the police who had clashed with CORD protesters.
The brutally beaten man said he had gone to Westlands to register for Uber services only to get down from matatu as vehicles were not moving when he ran into a crowd which was being dispersed by tear gas.
He began to run to safety like everybody else before he took a fall on the pavement after a policeman hit his leg. The rest became a tale of pain as the police rallied around him giving him strikes, one after the other. He revealed that most kicks fell on his backbone and hips and legs.
Manono noted that he was never a demonstrator but was only a passerby.
He said he was only lucky and fortunate as there was no hurt on his head. The only kick near his head landed on his shoulder, he says. Manono recounted hearing a policeman yell at his collegue ‘usimumalize’ (do not kill him),”.
When quizzed about the content of his back pocket, which the police claims were stones, Manono said: “I was not carrying any stone.” On Tuesday, the social media was hit by the news of the man’s death from the beating, after pictures of the police brutality on him hit the internet.
Manono was still wearing his green hoodie and a kangol (seen in the photo next to his head) he was trailed to Ayany Estate where he was treating his wound in the small room he shares with his uncle. Manono sustained soft tissues injuries on the thighs, hip and back.
He said he learnt of his ‘death’ while listening to a radio station in the morning and then at 1pm, he watched himself on TV being kicked and the media reporting that he had ‘died.’
My uncle was also in shock. He spoke to my family and told them that I was not dead. I thank God that I am alive. I could have died. When I saw the way I was kicked, actually it shocked me that it was so bad
After the police moved on from him to continue the dispersion, weak and agonized, some journalists helped him stand up. Manono limped down to Uhuru Park, rested a while, before putting a call through to his uncle who came with some friends. They arrived at around 5.30pm, he explained. Manono was moved to a hospital along Ngong Road following the Tuesday’s interview.
The Monday protest which ended in a riot and direct attack by police has drawn national and international criticism. The US expressed their dissatisfaction over the assault hours after the video went viral on the internet. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights on Tuesday said it had started investigations into the conduct of security agencies during the anti IEBC protests.