Nambale residents protest against police raid under unclear circumstances

Residents protest after police allegedly raided their homes shooting in the air.[Mary Imenza,Standard]

Residents of Otiri village, Nambale constituency, Busia county held protests on Thursday, December 21  following an incident where police officers stormed a household arresting a woman and her children.

According to witnesses, the officers, about 10 in number, arrived at the village at around 10.00 pm on Wednesday loaded with bullet casings, and two police vehicles.

 The woman Margaret Nyongesa who was roughed up in the incident said the officers took her away beating up anybody who tried to intervene later releasing her unconditionally.

 “The officers beat everyone who came to our rescue but they were overpowered by an angry mob that’s why they released me, “said Margaret.

Margaret said when the police stormed into her compound while shooting in the air, she was nursing a one-month-old baby.

‘Unfortunately, my compound has small kids who witnessed the police tearing my clothes as they beat us and even as we pleaded with them not to shoot because we had a small child in the house they could not listen to us, ’she said.

However, the police did not give them any reasons following their harassment and arrest in the wee hours. 

 Austine Nyongesa, a neighbour, has called on the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to investigate the matter and assure them of their security in the village given that the festive season is around the corner.

‘’We are all frightened and we cannot go to bed tonight because the police officers might ambush us again. Our security is not safe yet we have children who have been traumatized over the incident that took place today giving us a great challenge of convincing them that the incident will not happen again, ‘said Nyongesa.

Nyongesa further condemns the action by the police and asks for apologies from the officers who were shooting.

"We were not informed as a community and we need an apology. If the police shot someone by mistake? It could be a different story in this village. Suddenly, the people we depend on for safety are the ones going against the law, ‘he said.

Contacting the Nambale OCPD George Ongosi, he said that he was informed about the incident and investigations are ongoing.

‘’We are aware of the incident and investigations have been launched concerning the same, ’said Ongosi.

Ongosi urged the residents not to take actions into their own hands and maintain calmness.