Lawyers condemn Kisumu shootings

By Standard Digital Reporter

Nairobi, Kenya: Lawyers from East Africa have accused police officers of shooting to kill demonstrators in Kisumu over the weekend.

They called for prosecution of the trigger happy police officers towards bringing to an end perpetual shooting of demonstrators using live bullets.

The East Africa Law Society President James Mwamu said firing of live bullets when quelling down demonstrations at the lakeside city must stop.

“We demand an explanation from the police force as the officers seemed to have been given orders not only to shoot but shoot and kill,” Mwamu said.

Mwamu said that several of the civilans who are nursing gunshot wounds at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Provincial Hospital were shot while running away.

“It seems that it is has become a rule in the police force that every time there is demonstration in Kisumu live bullets must be used,” Mwamu said.

The EALS President said that the security officers have in the past five years shot to kill protestors at the lakeside city.

Mwamu was reacting to media reports following demonstrations that rocked parts of Kisumu after the Supreme Court upheld the Presidential election of Uhuru Kenyatta.

Gun shots were heard up to almost midnight as armed police officers dispersed youth from Kondele and chased them to areas such as Nyawita, Obunga and Nyalenda.

“The Constitutional right to life must not be taken for granted and can only be taken away legally,” Mwamu said.

Article 26 of the Constitution provides that every person has the right to life and shall not be deprived of life intentionally except when authorized by the Supreme Law.

“We strongly condemn the shootings in Kisumu that led to the death of two civilians and injuring several others on Saturday evening,” Mwamu said.

The EALS President said that the police must up hold the rule of law arguing that use of excessive force must stop under the new Constitutional dispensation.