Wandayi condemns police brutality on protesters in Nyanza

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

A section of Luo leaders have raised concern over the escalating police brutality on protesters in Kisumu, Migori and Homa Bay counties.

In a statement read by National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi, the leaders regretted that the people are being pulled out of their houses and shot or clobbered to death by police.

"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. It is unfortunate and indeed depressing that our own sons and daughters in government are working with outsiders to allow the extermination of the Luo," said Wandayi.

The MP said that what is being done to his people, under the watch and supervision of their own sons was similar to what was done to the Jews in Europe by Hitler.

"Never in the history of our country have the Luos gone through this kind of systematic genocide-like treatment. What is going on now is way beyond what happened in 1969 or the tribal clashes of 1991/1992," said Wandayi.

The Minority Leader said that neither Jomo Kenyatta nor Daniel arap Moi subjected the community to what President William Ruto is doing.

"Like the Jews of Europe who survived the genocide and took over the world, the Luo will not only survive. We will also thrive," he said.

He called on President Ruto to realize that the way to sustainable peace, stability and justice in Kenya is respect for the rule of law and human rights and when justice is denied, no amount of brutality will bring peace.

Wandayi said that police deployed in Nyanza and across the country else must at all times act in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

"Right now, they are acting against both the law and the Constitution. There is no justification whatsoever for use of live bullets against unarmed civilians. There can be no justification whatsoever for police to pull people out of their homes and shoot or clobber and kill them as police are doing in Nyanza," he said.

"We expect security forces to carry out their duties and responsibilities with complete impartiality and without regard to ethnicity, political persuasion, or other partisan consideration. In Nyanza, the police are partisan and they are pursuing an ethnic agenda," he added.

The MP claimed that the deployment of the police officers in Nyanza depict a determination by the state to perpetuate ethnic cleansing and called on local community, religious, political, business and civil society leaders to speak out against police brutality in Nyanza.

Wandayi said that Members of Parliament, were currently putting together some resources to be channeled to the people and called on the government to demobilize and disband all illegal armed groups and militias who are killing the people in Nyanza.

"The government has a duty to ensure that the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are upheld. Peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Constitution should be protected and facilitated. Our people must not be denied these just because we are Luos. Police have a duty to enforce law and order to protect life and property," he said.

He called for impartial, effective and expeditious investigations of cases of crime and police brutality/excessive use of force.

Wandayi told the people not to succumb to blackmail and intimidation.

"We are here by right. We will fight for our space and our rights. We shall overcome," he said.