• Mandago said many innocent people had lost their lives in the hands of the police and the government should come up with a plan to relieve the families' pain.
• He said it was unfair for the government to compensate victims attacked by wild animals but fail to do the same for those killed in the hands of police officers
The government should compensate families of more than 100 people allegedly killed by police enforcing curfew orders, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has said.
Mandago said many innocent people had lost their lives in the hands of the police and the government should come up with a plan to relieve the families' pain.
“We know money cannot restore the lost lives but those killed come from families where they are depended on in several ways. Some are fathers, mothers and have responsibilities which have to be carried on,” Mandago said.
He said it was unfair for the government to compensate victims attacked by wild animals but fail to do the same for those killed in the hands of police officers.
Mandago spoke after three people were killed in clashes with the police at Lessos in Nandi. Violent clashes erupted after police killed the first casualty for shielding a man who had no face mask and allegedly refused to pay a Sh50 bribe.
The county chief said the relationship between police and the public was on the rocks due to inhumane handling of Kenyans by officers.
“This issue of the poor relationship between the police and the public should be looked into because security people are hired to safeguard the lives of Kenyans and live harmoniously with them. The officers should not turn into killers of the people they are supposed to protect,” Mandago said.
The governor said action should be taken against officers involved in the killing or maiming of innocent Kenyans.
He condemned the policeman who shot the man with a disability at Lessos because he had tried to stop the officer from arresting another man for not putting on a mask.
The killing on Thursday sparked off riots at Lessos in which two other people were killed and houses belonging to police officers burned down. All the officers at the Lessos police station have since been transferred.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority has deployed officers to investigate the killings and the leaders in North Rift want tough action taken against the perpetrators.
“It’s very inhuman and unfortunate for a police officer to use a gun against a person living with disabilities. We wonder why the officer could not just use his hands to arrest such a person,” Mandago said.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Senator Samson Cherargei and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi condemned the police brutality.
Sudi said Kenyans overwhelmed by effects of Covid-19 were being frustrated by the government agencies led by the police.
Human rights groups in the North Rift have also called for a thorough probe into the killings by police officers to ensure those involved are prosecuted.
“As human rights groups we have also documented all the cases of police brutality so that we follow up and ensure rogue officers are removed from the service,” said Kipkorir Ngetich from the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Eldoret.
(edited by o. owino)