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Police deny assaulting Boniface Mwangi, say he tripped himself

NATIONAL
By Mireri Junior | October 9th 2021

Activist Boniface Mwangi insists he was assaulted by police officers and has reported to Independent Policing Authority. [Courtesy]

Police on Saturday denied assaulting activist Boniface Mwangi and instead claimed he tripped himself and fell down to incite suspects under arrest and members of the public against police officers.

In a statement seen by The Standard, the National Police Service (NPS) through its spokesperson Bruno Isohi said the officers only tried to restrain the activist after he fell on the floor by himself and started acting.

Police said the officers that were at Nairobi's Pension House were on lawful assignment to assist the Nairobi County Government and Nairobi Metropolitan Services in collecting unpaid revenues from defaulters.

Police accused Mwangi of confronting the officers and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials and challenging them to identify themselves despite being in their uniform.

"The activist persisted in his identification argument despite the police officers being dressed in their official uniforms and armed," read the statement.

“The activist caused a fracas for the purposes of facilitating the escape of arrested defaulters or to intimidate the officers from carrying out their lawful duties.”

Police have also said Mwangi staged the situation for cameras with an aim of escalating unnecessary tensions between police and the public.

According to the police, Mwangi escaped the scene after the fracas only to later claim that he was assaulted by the police.

Reported to IPOA

Mwangi on Friday accused officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) of assaulting him after he questioned and recorded their unlawful operation at the said building.

He said he was trying to escape from the officers after they tried to confiscate his phone but fell down before the officers descended on him.

“Because l recorded them, the GSU officers wanted to take my phone, I refused and in my attempt to run away, I fell. They caught up with me and beat me up. Even after the beating l didn’t hand over my phone.

Mwangi has so far reported the assault at Central Police Station and to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)

 “I reported my assault by armed GSU officers at Central Police Station yesterday. I also reported the matter to Independent IPOA case number is IPOA/CMU/2318/2021,” he tweeted on Saturday.

Mwangi added the officers arrested no one after he raised the alarm, terming the operation police harassment.

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