Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) has condemned a case of police brutality meted on NTV journalist Peter Wainaina.
Wainaina was performing his duty in Mombasa on Friday evening as Kenyans rushed to beat the curfew when a man dressed in police uniform began clobbering him. The action was caught on tape.
“I was actually doing my work and the brutality meted on me by the policeman caught me by surprise. I did not provoke him, and it was uncalled for,” Wainaina told the Daily Nation.
As such, KEG has demanded that Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai take immediate action on the officer.
“We demand that he is immediately disarmed and prosecuted in a court of law. The public have a right to timely, accurate information hence journalists must be allowed to work. More so at this time when all are united in fighting Covid-19,” KEG president Churchill Otieno said in a statement.
The union has also taken issue with police treatment on journalists covering the Covid-19 pandemic across the country, despite a directive from State that media is exempted from the daily curfew of 7pm to 5am.
Cases of police brutality have been witnessed in certain parts of the country as the nationwide curfew took effect on Friday evening.
Police and commuters clashed at the Likoni ferry in Mombasa Friday afternoon, a scenario occasioned by overcrowding as residents rushed to beat the curfew deadline.
The situation was no different in Kisumu and Eldoret towns as police teargassed passers by.
This move had netizens tongues wagging with complaints, calling for sanity to prevail.
Dear President Kenyatta
It is absolutely unacceptable for Kenya Police to harass Kenyans due to Corona curfew in Kenya. Kenyans must be treated with dignity. Not a request. Don't add police brutality to the current suffering of poor mobile Kenyans @StateHouseKenya #CurfewKenya — Dr. John Njenga Karugia, PhD (@johnnjenga) March 27, 2020
— Moses Masika (@mosmasika) March 27, 2020
On Thursday, police warned travellers to plan their trips beforehand to ensure they are not caught in transit when the curfew came into effect.
“We have prepared well and are now ready. We urge for cooperation from all concerned parties for the sake of our safety,” said Police IG illary Mutyambai.