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October 17, 2018

Apologise and compensate families of 215 killed by police, Raila tells Uhuru

NASA supporters clash with police during an address by chief Raila Odinga on manyanja road in Donholm, Nairobi, November 28, 2017. /REUTERS
NASA supporters clash with police during an address by chief Raila Odinga on manyanja road in Donholm, Nairobi, November 28, 2017. /REUTERS

Opposition leader Raila Odinga wants the President to apologise and compensate people shot by police during election protests.

The NASA principal once again placed the number at 215 on Thursday, when he joined victims' families at City Mortuary in Nairobi.

The government must take responsibility for the deaths, he said, adding it needs to apologise to parents. 

"Lazima serikali iseme itatoa (The government must agree to give) compensation for the bereaved," he said.

On December 1, Uhuru praised police for being 'firm' during the August 8 and October 26 election periods.

The praise followed claims officers used extreme force on Opposition supporters since the original election on August 8. Police have denied that this was the case.

But NASA coalition published the names and photos of the victims of police brutality and violence in various local newspapers on November 24.

More on this: Uhuru praises police for being 'firm' during election period

Read: 'Why do they want to kills us': Raila's supporters served tear gas, bullets

Citing the death of the young Geoffrey Mutinda in Pipeline estate on November 28, Raila said the people who killed others must be brought to book.

Police denied allegations that an officer killed the child as they blocked NASA's Jacaranda grounds meeting. Officers were sent to the venue early that day but chaos broke out as Raila told the people of his plan - to get sworn-in on December 12.

The ODM leader said: "There is nothing like mob justice as police said. Tunakuwa na huzuni tukisikia mtoto aliuliwa na wanaNASA. Hakuna mauaji yanaitwa ya wanaNASA (It is sad to learn that a child was killed with NASA supporters. Death is not a preserve of NASA supporters," Raila said.

"Angekuwa mwana NASA angenaswa (He would have been captured had he been a NASA supporter). We know he was killed because a bullet was found in was a police bullet. A criminal is a criminal."

Read: Police deny killing seven-year-old Geoffrey Mutinda, blame criminals

'No comment'

The Opposition leader further noted that it was sad and unfortunate that no one from the government talked or commented about the deaths.

"Tunahuzuni sana ya kwamba hakuna hata mtu mmoja katika serikali ambaye amenena kuhusu vifo hivyo. Lazima serikali iseme itatoa compensation for the bereaved (It is sad that not even a single person from the government has commented on the deaths. The government must compensate the bereaved)," he said.

He acknowledged the families' pain and said NASA was sorry but noted no amount of money can bring the dead back to life.

"Wenye wanafanya haya maovu ni wanyama.. Kwa familia ya wale wametuacha...wale ambao wamelala kwa sanduku...kwa niaba ya viongozi wote, tunasema poleni.. poleni sana kwa kupoteza watu wenu (The people behind these inhumane acts are animals. To the families of those who have left us...those whose bodies are in coffins...on behalf of all leaders, we say sorry....we are so sorry that you lost your loved ones)."

The Opposition leader said people behind the killings are animals who are thirsty for blood, remarks he used earlier to describe President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto.

Raila further hit at friends of Kenya who had not commented on the deaths of his supporters.

"We are saddened and shocked by the silence of friends of Kenya. Not a single ambassador has raised the issue of the killing of Kenyans," he said.

More on this: Bloodthirsty animals? Raila tears into UhuRuto over election killings

Also read: Tear gas, gunshots as NASA supporters wait for Raila outside JKIA

Raila was with NASA supporters including Siaya Senator James Orengo, lawyer Otiende Amollo and Nairobi woman representative Esther Passaris.

Dressed in black and grey outfits, the leaders remained silent as a preacher prayed for the victims. Fifteen bodies will be taken to Siaya and Homa Bay counties for burial. 

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