PS Raymond Omollo: 305 police officers injured in Azimio mass protests

Interior PS Raymond Omollo. [Jenipher Wachie,Standard]

 Interior PS Raymond Omollo says 305 officers were injured and 156 assaults reported during the Azimio anti-government protests.

In a statement on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, Omollo attributed the situation to what he described as a concerning trend of unjustly profiling, harassing, and attacking security personnel.

He said during the protests, 859 shops were broken into, and 199 buildings destroyed.

In addition, there were reports of rioters blocking 69 roads, leading to attacks and robberies on several non-protesting motorists and pedestrians, who were subsequently robbed of their belongings.

“Further, the riots not only endangered lives and property but also posed a significant challenge to the fundamental principles of democracy and social cohesion on which our nation is built,” said Omollo.

At the same time, the National Police Service also lost 158 vehicles and 9 police stations, which were either burnt down or severely damaged by criminals masquerading as protesters.

“The massive losses mark an irreplaceable toll that underscores the urgency of taking more decisive actions to avert a repeat of the same anywhere in the Republic of Kenya,” he added.

 “Our prime focus is now on restoring peace and stability through collective efforts, and we call upon all law-abiding citizens to uphold the rule of law and air their grievances through legal means.”

Omollo’s statement comes even as Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leaders and civil society organizations condemn the police brutality on peaceful protesters.

 Azimio leader Raila Odinga has since announced the suspension of Wednesday’s protests to hold a vigil for victims who have died as a result of police brutality.

Odinga asked supporters to light candles in remembrance of the victims.

“We are calling Kenyans to come out and light candles and lay flowers in remembrance of and respect for the victims. During the vigils, candle lighting, and laying of flowers, we encourage Kenyans to say prayers and read out the names of the victims of police brutality. We shall provide the list of the victims in time for the exercise,” he said in a statement.

According to the coalition, at least 50 deaths have been reported so far, with hundreds of others being injured and admitted to hospitals with grave injuries.

 

The coalition has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open investigations into the conduct of police officers during the protests.