Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has issued a caution to police officers, urging them to refrain from using excessive force when dealing with peaceful demonstrators.
Speaking at a security baraza with residents in Tharaka Nithi, Kindiki emphasized that the use of brutal force by a few officers in such situations will not be tolerated.
Recently, the opposition organized anti-government demonstrations to commemorate Saba Saba. During these protests, police employed tear gas and water cannons to prevent the demonstrators from entering the Central Business District after they had gathered at Kamukunji grounds, where Azimio leader Raila Odinga addressed them.
Tragically, these demonstrations resulted in the deaths of six individuals in various parts of the country.
In response, a group of activists gathered at the Central Police station on Saturday morning to seek information about the 75 protesters who had been arrested the previous Friday during the Saba Saba protest. Police used tear gas canisters to disperse the activists.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission, led by former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, reported that only 26 out of the 75 arrested individuals had been processed and were awaiting arraignment on Monday.
In light of these events, Raila Odinga, the leader of Azimio, has called on his supporters to participate in another round of protests against the Finance Act 2023 on Wednesday.
Kindiki’s warning comes in the wake of former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga’s encounter with tear gas at the Central Police Station. Mutunga had gone to demand the release of 35 Azimio protesters who had taken part in the demonstrations on the previous Friday.