PRESS STATEMENT BY 14 MEMBERS OF THE BOMET COUNTY ASSEMBLY ON THE BRUTALITY VISITED ON GOVERNOR ISAAC RUTO BY THE POLICE
Our attention has been drawn to the utterances attributed to the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Sotik MP Dr Joyce Laboso ,County Commissioner Mr Benard Leparmarai on the attack against Governor Isaac Ruto by police officers during a football match at Silibwet stadium in Bomet Central Sub-County last Sunday.
From the onset we would like to set the record straight that the event was not a jubilee rally, neither was it a function of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Sotik MP Dr Joyce Laboso as is being projected by state agencies.
As has been stated previously, Governor Ruto’s sole motive in going to the function was as a result of a barrage of complaints from youths who had been arrested for allegedly attempting to disrupt the function – yet in reality the youths were peaceful and a section of them had been harassed, beaten up, arrested and detained by the police for the sole reason that they were members of the Chama Cha Mashinani party fronted by Governor Ruto.
It is a matter of public record that Dr Laboso has declared an interest to dislodge Governor Ruto from his position in the 2017 general election and being one of the Jubilee leaders, she enjoys not only political patronage but also protection from state security agencies who have unfortunately taken it upon themselves to overzealously unleash terror on Ruto’s supporters in total disregard to the law and the constitution of this country.
Police are duty bound to provide security to all citizens irrespective of their standing in society, political persuasions or religious inclinations – but on this one, the police in anti-riot gear and armed with assault rifles, chose to lob teargas canisters directly at the Governor as he sought an audience with the police commanders to have the youths released and avert the stand-off from degenerating into a fight between the Jubilee and Mashinani teams.
It is instructive to note three of the youths who were arrested were arraigned in court and charged with minor traffic offences while another one alleged to have been the ring-leader has not been charged with any offence five days later.
One of the youths Mr Livingstone Chepkwony was beaten up and seriously injured while in police custody and has since been treated and discharged at Longisa County Referral hospital. The police have declined to issue him with a P3 form.
To project the Governor as an aggressor and to blame members of the public for occasioning him the serious bodily harm he sustained is not only the highest level of irresponsibility but a clear attempt to cover up and protect the real and known aggressors – the police.
Teargas canisters were directly lobbed at the Governor by the police on close range inflicting serious injuries and there is raw camera footage on the same. Teargas is in the custody of and for the sole use by the police and there is no way members of the public can come in possession of the same.
We are demanding that the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and all investigative agencies to take action against perpetrators of the violence visited on the Governor so as to avert future occurrence of the same against any leader or person in the country.
As members of the Chama Cha Mashinani party, and National Vision Party(NVP) we wish to state that we believe in all tenets of democracy and as the electioneering period inches closer, we are calling upon our competitors to exercise political tolerance and conduct campaigns devoid of violence.