A video of University of Nairobi students being assaulted by General Service Unit officers went viral across Kenya. Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) confirms the incident.
The video, which shows students getting clobbered by mean police officers, was filmed while the students were rioting over the re-election of Babu Owino as the chairman of Students Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU).
At first, when the video emerged and got thousands of views on social media, the police vehemently denied it, saying the video was old. But, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) carried out an investigation on it and published its analysis.
The report confirms the gruesome assault of University of Nairobi students by the General Service Unit officers during the recent riots. They said the attack was real and named police officers deployed on Anti-Riot Operation within the University as the perpetrators.
Noting that the students actually sustained injuries including bone fractures, IPOA said evidence proves that the assaulted students were not part of the squabble caused by rioting students.
The statement, however, is at odds with the statement released earlier by Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome who said that the video had been created by online media organizations to propagate false information.
Koome said there was absolutely no conflict between the police and the students and that no victim has reported to the police to claim he or she was assaulted.
The incident has heavily generated much discussion online, and the investigators are now asking for the policemen to be charged for torture.
In a clear reference to the incident, one social media user addressed the “lack of discipline” among Kenyan police workers and their “flawed judgment” in handling crimes.
On April 2, some students agitated against the re-election of Babu Owino. The furious scholars accused Babu of rigging the elections with a fraction videoed on tape stating that they no longer want to be under him.
The demonstrations were intense, prompting the ruination of property at the institution, causing the administration to shut down the campus indefinitely. Over 201 students said to have played a role in the agitation were later suspended from the Varsity.