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December 15, 2018

Four bodies found at Kisumu beach, Nyong'o piles pressure on police

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong'o during a visit at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary, August 25, 2017. /MAURICE ALAL
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong'o during a visit at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary, August 25, 2017. /MAURICE ALAL

A body with two bullet holes in the chest and a severely damaged leg was found stuffed in a bag at Usoma beach in Kisumu on Wednesday.

Locals who found it say it may be of a person who was shot dead during demonstrations over the presidential election. 

They informed police who took the body to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary. 

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong'o, who visited the facility on Saturday, said four bodies have been found so far.

Mortuary attendant Richard Onsongo said three bodies have been taken there since the chaos after the contest between Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Party) and Raila Odinga (NASA).

 Two were from Nyalenda and records say they were of victims of mob justice. Onsongo said they had multiple injuries and that relatives later collected them.

In an address to the press, Nyong’o said: “The mortuary attendant tells us there are two holes in the chest, which may indicate the person was shot at close range.

“We have asked the attendant to keep that body carefully. I am going to Nairobi tomorrow. We are going to get forensic scientists to come and examine that body properly and determine the cause of death."

Nyong'o said the person may have been a victim of police brutality. The governor called on independent authorities to conduct thorough investigations into extrajudicial killings in Kisumu.

“You know that during the protest, the police helicopter that was parked at Kisumu International Airport was said to have been dropping bodies in the lake at night. This could be one of them," he said.

"I have talked to an IPOA representative and told him that IPOA should take this seriously, not just do a public relations exercise in Kisumu, pretending they are supervising police brutality. Police brutality must be brought out clearly.”

Read: IPOA probing 28 deaths after election, says state keen on reports

Kisumu Governor-elect Anyang’ Nyong’o visits a victim of post-election chaos in Nyamasaria estate,  August 15, 2017. /MAURICE ALAL 

"MISSING PEOPLE MUST BE FOUND"

Four bodies in bags have so far been found in Lake Victoria.

“We know four families are missing their loved ones. According to information and evidence from the fisheries people and locals from beaches especially Usoma, at least four bodies have been recovered in bags,” Nyong’o said.

The former Senator said police took one of the bodies to the mortuary on August 23.

Nyong'o said his administration and county leaders will take the longest route possible to determine the whereabouts of the four missing people.

He ealier said he will ensure justice for victims of police brutality and reported that six people were sexually abused and at least 171 tortured.

At the requiem mass for baby Samantha Pendo on Friday, he rebuked police for using excessive force and county commissioner Mohamed Maalim for not attending the service.

More on this: Six sexually abused, 171 tortured in Kisumu protests - Nyong'o

Also read: Nyong'o blasts security bosses at baby Samantha Pendo's requiem mass

The county chief said residents he spoke to told him some of the attackers in Kondele, Nyamasaria, Manyatta and Obunga estates had police uniforms but were in dreadlocks.

“I don’t understand how a police or security person can have dreadlocks. All those must be investigated by IPOA and proper evidence received from the people of Kisumu on which militia was in operation.

“Was it a militia organised by somebody and given police and security uniform or is it a militia organised by police themselves. These facts must come out clearly. So I hope you journalists are going to help us unearth this genocide against the people of Kisumu.”

Read: 

Nyong’o further claimed there was a mass grave at Mamboleo public cemetery and that some senior security officers visited the scene during the skirmishes.

“The officers directed those who dug the grave to further expand it but never went back after suspecting the public received information about it."

He asked journalists to visit the cemetery to as part of their own investigations.

“Journalism is all about thorough investigations and you should not just wait for information. You need to unearth such inhuman acts."

Kisumu Governor-elect Anyang’ Nyong’o with Hilda Otieno, a victim of post-election demonstrations, who lives in Nyamasaria estate, August 15, 2017. /MAURICE ALAL

"POLICE NOT GUILTY"

On Monday, Maalim said police did not engage in brutality during the chaos that following the election.

He said only two deaths have been confirmed and dismissed as rumours reports in the media that seven people were killed by police.

Maalim also denied that baby Pendo was clubbed by anti-riot police and said investigations will reveal the truth.

"As far as we know, police were not involved in the killing of the baby. However, investigations are underway and if any officers will be found culpable, they will face full force of the law."

 More on this: [VIDEO] Baby Pendo’s skull was cracked – pathologist

The commissioner also refuted claims that KDF officers were involved in efforts to end demonstrations and restore calm.

Maalim said this in response to questions by journalists who wanted an explanation for spent cartridges labelled 'KDF' collected in some of the most affected areas of Kisumu.

He assured the public that justice will be served once investigations are completed and asked those with information on the attacks to give it to police.

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