ODM DEMANDS ACCOUNTABILITY OVER UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI BEATINGS:
Kenyans have been very disturbed by images that emerged from the University of Nairobi for much of the day. Images of police ran amok, flogging helpless students and breaking into rooms, together with reports that scores of young women were raped by the same security officers are very disturbing. They are totally unacceptable. This massive step backwards has to be explained. Somebody has to take responsibility for it. It has to be punished.
As a party, we wish to express our deep concern over this use of violence on students who had practically surrendered. We condemn this use of lawlessness in the name of maintaining law and order.
With our constitution of 2010, there is no reason whatsoever for police to bully and rape students who engaged in legitimate activities like demonstrations. During such events, police are expected to maintain law and order and arrest, not maim, those breaking the law. This brutality meted out on students is part of the growing militarization of our country in which police and other security agencies are unleashed in full force on the public at the slightest excuse.
We are deeply concerned at the increasing deployment of military equipment and vehicles on what should be ordinary civilian missions. This trend is sending conflicting signals and could have the effect of hardening our citizens and making them prepare for the worst in the years ahead. It has to stop. Police must maintain public safety and order without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force.
We are forced to question the wisdom of the current trend where the National Government is building what are essentially small armies by having police departments acquire military gear that goes far beyond what is necessary for basic law enforcement.
The Jubilee government must concentrate on building trust between the law enforcement agencies and the people of Kenya in the interest of the nation. Jubilee must de-militarize the country. Jubilee must respect the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. Our citizens, our children and our youth must not be treated as enemies of the nation whom have to be dealt with through utmost military ruthlessness. That is what they have done at the University of Nairobi. That is what Interior CS and the Inspector General of Police and the administration of the University of Nairobi must take responsibility for.
ALI HASSAN JOHO;
DEPUTY PARTY LEADER;
APRIL 5, 2016