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Kenneth Matiba - A living testimony of police brutality in Kenya

By Benard Amaya | December 10th 2017

Since the colonial era, Kenyans have been subjected to police brutality.

The colonialists, believed that Africans could only understand the language of brutal force. Thus, the police were commanded to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible.

Many independence heroes and heroines suffered irreparable physical and psychological damage at the hands of officers.

After Kenya attained independence, our people continued to suffer police brutality. Citizens including journalists, human right activists, university lecturers, student leaders and the clergy were brutalised by the police.

Matters worsened in the run up to multi-party democracy. Several pro-democracy activists were tortured, maimed and killed by the police in response to orders from above.

Leading proponents of pluralism among them Hon Kenneth Matiba, Charles Rubia, Njeru Gatabaki, Martin Shikuku, Jaramogi Odinga, Gearge Anyona, Raila Odinga, Paul Muite, Mukhisa Kutui and James Orengo encountered the brutal force. Of these political figures, Hon Matiba suffered greater damage resulting into stroke.

The KANU regime destroyed one of the best politicians of our time. Mr Matiba’s health deteriorated to a pale shadow of what he is today.

As the man from Kiharu lies in his hospital bed, it should remind the country of the need for a responsible friendly police service. Our police service must strive to shed off the inhuman side that continues to mar its image.

Let the image of ailing Matiba compel the police to rethink the excessive use of force.

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