The National Super Alliance (NASA) has accused the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet of committing crimes against humanity.
Addressing a press conference at Capital Hill on Saturday, Siaya Senator James Orengo said there were militias being recruited to kill NASA supporters.
“We are happy to report that Kenyans have responded with enthusiasm to our calls for reforms and internalized the idea that we cannot go to another election with the current IEBC and support institutions,” Senator Orengo said.
He confirmed that yesterday there were demonstrations in at least 20 counties, most of which were peaceful.
“However, in five towns, namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Bondo, Migori and Homa Bay, police broke the demos forcefully, resulting in several injuries, destruction of property and, most unfortunately, the deaths of three innocent protesters,” Senator Orengo said. “The three killings were in Bondo Town where police shot dead the three unarmed men at close range completely without justification. Until now, the police are still struggling to find a rationale for the killings. One senior officer said the three were shot while trying to invade a police station. Another has said they were looting a shop. Yet another said they attacked a police officer in the course of the protests.”
Senator Orengo appealed to the Independent Police Oversight Authority and credible human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, IMLU and others to go to Bondo quickly and get the facts on how the innocent Kenyans were killed.
“In Kisumu, more than two dozen people were hospitalized with conditions ranging from serious gunshot wounds to extreme teargas intoxication. Among the hospitalized were over 20 pupils of the Mount Carmel Academy in Nyalenda, whose school was invaded by policemen who threw teargas canisters at the pupils in the middle of a lesson,” Senator Orengo said. “The school was not a scene of the protests, but the police still went ahead to attack it and endanger the lives of pupils. This is the second time police have attacked kindergarten pupils in Kisumu.”
He said the incidents in Bondo, Kisumu, Migori and Homa Bay captured “a worrying trend of the police using disproportionate force on demonstrators particularly in Luo Nyanza.”
He added: “By sheer numbers alone it is clear that the police are using a different standard in responding to demonstrators in Nyanza and other areas. In addition to killings and maiming, the police are also engaged in a systematic plot of looting and destruction of property. Our supporters have reported that in Kisumu over the past two weeks, there are usually flanks of civilians who operate behind the police, whose sole work is to destroy or loot shops.”
Senator Orengo wondered why a photo taken by a journalist in Kisumu showed a policeman in the demos armed with a panga in addition to his regular firearm. “Now, the police are not known to arm with pangas,” he said.
He accused Mr Matiang’i and Mr Boinet of having “authorised the use of excessive and lethal force in attacks against NASA supporters.”
“They have also authorized the use of militia and killer gangs to harm and kill NASA supporters. We have seen police officers armed with daggers and guns. We have seen militia roaming the streets and descending on supporters in police uniforms while carrying teargas canisters,” Senator Orengo said. “We have reasonable grounds to believe that these two State officers Matiangi and Boinet are criminally responsible for crimes against humanity that are being meted out on NASA supporters in the name of preserving public order.”
He added that they were holding the two “responsible for the hiring of militia and dressing them in police fatigues and arming them with tear gas and guns.”
Senator Orengo said both the police and the gangs were “carrying out a widespread and systematic attack against members of the population perceived as supporting NASA and its leaders.”
He singled out the Luo, Luhya, Somali, Kamba, Abagusi, Maasai and coastal communities as the main target of the attacks.
“These police officers and support militia have express authority to murder, rape and commit other forms of inhumane acts with State protection and pay,” Senator Orengo said. “They are also allowed to loot and destroy properties while Matiang’i and Boinet ensure that police do not intervene to stop the attacks or to punish those who carry them out.”
“Without mincing words, Senator Orengo said: “In Luo Nyanza in particular, there is a clear policy of ethnic targeting being implemented with brute force. There is a determination to turn Luo land into the Biafra or Kosovo of Kenya. The sole purpose of these actions is to help Uhuru Kenyatta and Jubilee keep power at all costs.”
Senator Orengo warned that Kenya would “pay heavily for these policies if they are not stopped now.”
He promised that the anti-IEBC protests will continue next week and warned to react should State violence against protesters continue. “If the brutality against our people continues, we will not sit back and see our people being butchered. We will take actions that will ensure the self-defense of our people against a marauding State. And we warn Uhuru Kenyatta to be aware that he is steadily driving the country towards the end of Kenya as we know it. He and his officers must be prepared to shoulder the consequences.”