National Assembly leadership differ on police brutality during demonstrations

National Assembly's Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah [R] and Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi [L]. [File, Standard]

The Majority and Minority leaders of the National Assembly have sharply differed over the alleged use of excessive force on anti-government protesters in some parts of the country.

In a statement released Sunday, July 23, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi accused the state of sending armed groups to attack residents of the Nyanza Region.

Therefore, the Ugunja Member of Parliament called for investigations into the crimes and police brutality that happened during the demonstrations.

“What is going on in Nyanza appears to be state-sanctioned genocide in Kisumu, Migori, and Homa Bay. In these places, people are being pulled out of their houses and shot or clobbered to death by police officers.” Wandayi’s statement reads in part.

“The genocide-like operation underway in Luoland is not accidental. It is coordinated and premeditated. It is being coordinated by political and government leaders both from the community and outside.”

In response, the House’s Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah rubbished the genocide claims by members of the opposition.

He says that the Azimio-led anti-government protests have threatened the country’s security by giving room to anarchy, thuggery, looting, and destruction of property.

“My attention has been drawn to a statement by my Minority Leader counterpart in the National Assembly Opiyo Wandayi. In the statement, Wandayi alleges genocide in Luo Nyanza following the destructive protests called by the Azimio leadership. The country has been treated to anarchy, destruction of property, looting, and total insecurity,” Ichung’wah says in a statement.

“The police have indeed acted with unparalleled restraint in the midst of immense provocation and great losses and injury to many officers who have been attacked with all manner of projectiles, machines, and firearms,”

According to the Kikuyu MP, police were right to use live ammunition. He says the law enforcement officers only used live ammunition to protect their lives and other Kenyans in danger.

“The public has also suffered as has been reported by the Ministry of Interior from unfortunate shooting incidents perpetrated by the cabal plotters using hired gangs in a desperate attempt to create insurgency in the country,”