By Joshua Nyamori via Facebook
I am a believer in active non violence. But I am tempted to share some interesting stories about the violent clash between youth and police in my city.
The youth in my city – Kisumu Dala – have a unique love-hate relations with the police during crises.
Nowhere else in this country have I heard of crowds armed only with slings and stones sending anti-riot police – heavily armed with AK47, G3, machine guns, water canons, horses and teargas fleeing. But it happens in Kisumu.
Then there are reports that after hours of running battles with the youth, the head of police operations would step out and ask for the youth’s operations leader who would also step out; and the two would negotiate an hour or two of ceasefire to enable the police rest, take some water and grab a snack, before the battles resume.
The youth would concentrate on the battle on the front lines. When they catch criminals taking advantage of the situation to loot, they’d arrest the criminals and hand them over to the same police that the are battling in the street.
At the end of the day, the police – especially the ones ferried into town from elsewhere would be invited by the youth for busaa drink at ‘Onga city, during which they’d laugh and hug, and promise each other the mother of all battles the following day.
Once in a while the police breach protocal by sneaking into no-go zones to catch the youth unaware in the night and beat up people in their houses. The youth would challenge them for a real battle in broad daylight saying, “chuo romo e pap”(men meet in the field). This means that the youth would be ready for a battle the following day at the identified field or street.
These youth troops are well organized with several formations that are deployed as designed. They can therefore fight the whole day with different formations coming to the frontline to replace the tired ones.
If police decide to demobilize without consulting them, the youth would go to the police station’s gate and start shouting demanding that the police should stop being cowards and come out for battle, claiming that they are bored. They’d bully police until a battalion is released to go and battle them.
This can only happen in Kisumu.