The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) yesterday apologised for using false photos of what it earlier described as suspects in the Azimio la Umoja Monday protests.
Through its official Twitter handle, the investigative agency said Kenyans misled it by submitting old pictures through public channels.
“The DCI wishes to unreservedly apologise to the public for the mix-up of images in yesterday’s (Friday’s) communication, which was meant to appeal for information regarding the whereabouts of suspects of criminal activities involved in Monday’s illegal demonstrations.
The apology comes a day after the DCI published on its Twitter page pictures alleged to be those of Azimio protesters, who reportedly destroyed property during last Monday’s demonstrations in Nairobi.
“The mix-up was partly occasioned by the overwhelming information that we had received via the #FichuakwaDCI online platform regarding the reported incidents of violence. We are working towards rectifying the same and maintaining public confidence,” said the investigative agency.
Some of the pictures the DCI published of alleged suspects were taken in 2008, 2015 and 2022. Other pictures were taken in Burundi, and not Kenya.
On Friday, the DCI launched investigations into acts of violence that it claimed were committed by a section of Azimio supporters.
On its Twitter account, the DCI said criminals who took advantage of the demonstrations were captured on camera destroying public property, attacking innocent members of the public and hurling projectiles at police officers who were on duty protecting life and property.
“As a result, property of unknown value was destroyed while a total of 33 officers suffered injuries of various degrees and some are still recuperating at various hospitals in the city,” the agency said.
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The Directorate said one of its officers lost a firearm with 15 rounds of ammunition after he was attacked by a well-organised riotous mob, as the officers prevented the destruction of property in Embakasi area of Nairobi County.
“In this regard, the Directorate cautions members of the public that while the right to assemble, picket and petition is enshrined in our Constitution, these rights should be exercised with civility and should not infringe on the rights of others,” read part of the post.
It said the suspects whose images have been loaded on the internet will be held accountable for their acts.
“More images are being gathered and shall be updated. The individuals will face charges ranging from robbery with violence, malicious damage to public property and assault among other allied offences,” said the DCI.
Inspector General of Police, Japheth Koome, said police arrested 238 protestors during the demonstrations in Nairobi and Kisumu counties.
Among them was Azimio’s Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo and his National Assembly counterpart Opiyo Wandayi, who were later released.