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POLICE KILLINGS

Lobby groups call for action against officers involved in torture, killings in Kisumu

Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid says they are following up on at least 10 different cases on different parts of Kisumu county.

In Summary

• They have given the county government seven days to hold a meeting with their security chiefs in Kisumu to address the issue of police brutality.

• Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid says they are following up on at least 10 different cases on different parts of Kisumu county.

Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid
Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid
Image: FILE

Civil society organisations have called for action against police officers involved in torture and killings in Kisumu.

They have given the county government seven days to meet with their security chiefs in the areas to address police brutality cases. 

Led by Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid and Transform Empowerment for Action Initiative George Oduor, the lobbies said torture and killing by police have been on the increase across the country.

Khalid said they are following up on at least 10 different cases on different parts of Kisumu county.

He added that they are calling on the government, particularly the police, to end police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

“We are here to demand that torture be put to an end in Kenya. It’s against the Constitution," he said.

Oduor said Anthony Ogallo and Maurice Ochieng, residents of Kisumu, died as a result of police brutality, and such cases should not be taken lightly.

According to Susan Kanga, her brother Ogallo died in police cells on May 12 and she still doesn’t know how he passed away.

“We were informed of his death a day later. We thus demand for justice as members of the family," she said.

Stella Akinyi,a 31-year-old mother of three said they are yet to come to terms with the death of her husband, Ochieng, who died on May 20.

 Ochieng is said to have been beaten by police officers at his carpentry workshop in Holo after he was found without a mask. He was taken to the police station but his condition worsened after his release.

Harrison Onyango also called for action against officers who beat up his brother that led to his death.

“My brother has been buried. I condemn the act of the policemen and it’s unfortunate that until now, no action has been taken because they are freely roaming around,” Onyango said.

Oduor said that time has come for the two families, amongst others they are still investigating, to get justice.

"The work of the police is to provide security and we cannot be in a country where despite investments put on reforms we are not seeing anything tangible happening," he added.

He said that Kisumu residents and Kenyans by extension fear the police more than even Covid 19.

“I am also surprised with the silence of our political leaders. It's laughable that nobody has taken the initiative of having a hearing on police brutality, from the county assembly up to the Senate," Oduor said.

“We want to tell the leadership of Kisumu county, just as the governor has been vocal in directing doctors to go to work, we also want to ask him to call a meeting with the county commissioner to urgently address the character of police within the county," he said.