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LSK, Ipoa to probe police brutality

COUNTIES
By Kamau Muthoni and Cyrus Ombati | January 20th 2015

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has formed a 12-member team to probe alleged police brutality against pupils of Lang'ata Primary School in Nairobi.

And the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) said it would also investigate the incident. Ipoa Chief Executive Officer Joel Mabonga said they had received reports of brutal mishandling of pupils and the public during the demonstration against the alleged grabbing of a land.

"The authority has launched investigations into the incident with a view to ensuring that appropriate action is taken against the offending officers," Mabonga said in a statement.

Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, LSK Chairman Eric Mutua said the society wants officers involved in the brutality prosecuted.

Mr Mutua said the probe team will visit the school today to collect statements from children and their teachers in a bid to identify the officers who fired teargas at children who were part of a demonstration against the alleged grabbing of their playground.

Mr Mutua said LSK will work with both the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and Ipoa to have the officers brought to book.

"The LSK council has witnessed with horror and shock the brutality meted upon defenseless children at Lang'ata Primary School. We condemn this barbaric act by the police in the strongest terms," Mutua said.

"The council is also concerned that disputes involving land grabbing of public land has reached alarming proportions. It is a sad day for our country to be associated with events akin to Soweto, South Africa where children were killed and brutalised during the apartheid era," he added.

"If an offence is committed there is an extent which the police can react. If children demonstrate they are not to be chased away with teargas and others being arrested. Worldwide, the rights of a child are protected," the LSK boss added.

The team comprises of lawyers Gertrude Angote, Dennis Mosota, Anthony Mulekyo, John Chigiti, Nyamu Mati, Rose Mbanya, Julie Soweto, Michael Muchemi, Oscar Sang, Ben Mosota, Haron Orlando and Brenda Dora.

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