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VAS

APs bungled in Kawangware deaths

LETTERS
By | March 15th 2010

I am shocked and incensed at the senseless and outrageous killing of seven taxi drivers in Kawangware by Administration Police officers.

Police, who are supposed to be custodians of the law, now brutally prey on wananchi. The guilty APs should be brought to book.

It is even more disheartening to note that instead of the taxi drivers and their motorcyclist colleagues working in unity to resolve their differences amicably, the latter group sicced APs on their ‘foes’ resulting in the bloodbath.

If police have to shoot at all, it must be as a last resort and it must be to maim or cripple, not to kill.

Police extra-judicial killings have gone on for long enough and it is time the Government took decisive action. As a survivor of a near extra-judicial killing (by two APs attached to Kariokor chief’s camp in December 2005), my heart goes out to the families of the dead men.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti must intervene to prevent further deaths.

{Jonathan Karanja, Kikuyu}

*****

The killing of taxi drivers and the chaotic aftermath shows a lack of seriousness and maturity in the police force.

Do policemen act out of frustration, because the way they clobbered everyone in sight after protests erupted in Kawangware left a lot to be desired.

Prof Saitoti and Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere must investigate and get to the bottom of this misplaced viciousness. It is not in order not to beat or kill innocent citizens.

Such brutal acts by the police only lead the public to despise them and view them as enemies.

However, the Kawangware deaths would not have occurred if there had been trust, love, understanding, tolerance and humility between the taxi drivers and motorcyclists.

{Mokaya, Mombasa}

*****

The killing of seven taxi operators in Kawangware was inhuman and the height of human rights abuse.

Police officers are a trigger-happy bunch known to execute extra-judicial killings.

These latest deaths prove that there was truth in the report on police killings released by Special Investigator Philip Alston, which the Government vehemently denied.

Inasmuch as Saitoti wants to protect these errant officers, they should be prosecuted and made to pay for their cruelty. Their roles should also be more clearly defined especially when it comes to quelling demonstrations.

{Chadwick Onyango, Ndere}

*****

The sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga over the Kawangware killings are true and must be supported.

It is unfortunate that Kenya is slowly degenerating into a police state. It is obvious that the taxi drivers who were killed were innocent, and there is more than meets the eye in the matter.

The interdiction of the officers is not enough; the Government must prosecute them. This idea of the police taking the law into their hands must cease.

Trigger-happy officers must be retrained to offer security to wananchi instead of taking their lives. Extra-judicial killings must also end and those found guilty of the same must be punished in accordance with the law.

{Philip Mbindyo, Sawagongo}

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