Kenyan family demand answers over police murder

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At least 35 civilians have been shot dead by police in Kenya this month during protests over new taxes and the rising cost of living.

27 year-old Douglas Kalasinga is thought to be one of them.

Relatives say he was shot on while at work, pushing a handcart of water cans and was not taking part in demonstrations.

Rasto Sakulo is one of Kalasinga’s relatives and said: “We want action to be taken against the police officer who was shooting randomly. 

“Why would they shoot at people, even those carrying water? Those going about their business? When you meet the police, should they help you or kill you? 

“If he was demonstrating, the police should have dispersed [the protesters]. Why would you shoot at somebody’s child? What will happen to your child tomorrow?”

President William Ruto had praised police for doing a “good job” in maintaining peace amid the protests but later cautioned police against extrajudicial killings while adding that no public anarchy would be allowed.

Ruto’s administration has accused the opposition of inciting chaos and charged more than 300 people this week alone with crimes that include looting, destroying property and assaulting police.

But many Kenyans accuse him of making life unbearable with taxes on fuel and other essentials and rising food costs.

Kalasinga’s friend, Emannuel Sikuku, said: “Police should not come to shoot people. They should arrest suspects and investigate. 

“Right now, people are struggling to survive, people are suffering because of hunger and the cost of living is high. If I decide to go and demonstrate, I am not going there to throw stones at anyone or steal. Why should you profile me?”

Human rights organisations have expressed concern over the police killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions reported in the demonstrations this month and urged the policing watchdog to investigate and prosecute officers found guilty.

Africanews/Hauwa M.