By Samuel Ndalusia,
November 19th, 2017,
Renowned Kenyan socio-political activist, Boniface Mwangi has come out to strongly criticize the actions taken by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee government on Friday, November 17, as the NASA leader Raila Odinga was being welcomed back home by the opposition coalition’s supporters. Mwangi recalled how Kenyatta coughed and cried after being teargassed in 2016 during a demonstration in the city’s central business district.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, November 18, Mwangi lamented that there were no legal reasons to stop NASA supporters from receiving their leader and that it’s dictatorship when the police apply law selectively on Kenyans. Here’s a Mwangi’s full Facebook post:
“As someone who has photographed President Uhuru Kenyatta coughing and crying in the streets, l am surprised that he condones police brutality.
On 1st June 2006, hawkers violently protested their eviction from the central business district. The city council called in the police to effect the evictions that resulted in protests, which turned violent and proved fatal. Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, who was the opposition leader at the time, went to the protest to try and calm the angry hawkers, but to no avail. Instead, he was caught up in the chaos and teargassed.
At the end of day-long street battles, a policeman had been stoned to death and three hawkers shot dead by the police. The dead policeman was only 22 years old and had been serving for barely six months, when he was called out to go and quell the riots. When his more experienced colleagues retreated from the rioting hawkers, the young officer found himself cornered and he was stoned to death.
The death and destruction that happened after Raila’s return wouldn’t have happened if Police had followed the law. Allow Raila Odinga’s supporters to welcome him, escort him and provide security, both to his supporters and to business owners. Police would have worked hand in hand with NASA supporters to arrest hooligans and looters. Instead, not only was property damaged but, much worse, lives were lost. Police criminalized a peaceful event and caused it to turn chaotic.
Kenyans, be very afraid when the police ignore the constitution and issue illegal orders. President Uhuru looks very weak when police illegally stop Raila Odinga’s supporters from receiving him. It’s a self-defeating strategy. If NASA supporters break the law, police should arrest and charge them. It’s dictatorship when the police apply the law selectively and stop NASA supporters from marching. There were no legal reasons to stop Raila’s supporters from receiving him.
President Uhuru, as a victim and witness of brutality, and who was part of a protest in 2006 that left four people dead, including a police officer, you should know better. Allow peaceful processions and protests. Stop the use of live bullets for crowd control.”