A peaceful protest against the killing of a 23-year-old student in Kibera, Nairobi was abandoned prematurely, after police lobbed teargas into the crowd.
The group of youth had walked all the way from Kibera into the City centre chanting anti-police slogans only to be intercepted by police at Kenyatta Avenue, enroute to Vigilance House, the police headquarters.
The officers went ahead to disrupt the demonstrators who had been peaceful for hours armed with just twigs and placards by shooting in the air lobbing teargas.
A contingent of anti-riot police armed with clubs were further called to disperse the crowds sending them scampering for safety to Uhuru and Central Park.
The youth were determined to reach Vigilance House to get an audience with Inspector of Police Joseph Boinnet to air their frustration on why an officer killed Carilton David Maina on Saturday morning at about 2am.
Maina is said to have been walking home in Kibera, laini saba after watching a football match when he was shot. “He was in the company of three other friends, but he was the only one who was shot,” said Diana Bwari.
Diana said he knew Maina from his days in in Maseno School where he attained a mean grade of A in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2013.
“He had become such an epitome of hope in Kibera. Not so many people from the slums get a chance to study abroad,” she said.
Maina was home for the December holidays and was due to fly back to England, where he was reported to be studying. Between 2016 and 2017, Maina was a student at Leeds University taking a course in Electronic engineering, as reported by the BBC.
Kilimani Police OCPD Michael Muchiri was quoted saying that the deceased, was part of a four-member gang that was terrorizing the public at the time of the incident.
It is when police got wind of some mugging activities that they responded by shooting one and arresting another while the rest managed to escape. A homemade pistol was recovered at the scene, Muchiri said.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) in a statement said it was investigating the case.
“If evidence assigns culpability to the police, the Authority will make appropriate criminal and disciplinary recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions,” read the statement in part.
Ezekiel Mureithi said the shooting of Maina is just one of the many extra judicial killings in Kibera perpetrated by the police.
“This is not the first time; they are used to just shooting innocent people. Maina was not a thief,” he said.
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