KISUMU, Kenya Oct. 5th - Police in Kisumu have urged those intending to participate in the anti-IEBC demos called by the National Super Alliance coalition to shun acts of violence or meet “the full force of the law.”
Speaking to the press in Kisumu today just moments after the city witnessed a heavy deployment of police officers with anti-riot equipment, Kisumu County Police Boss Titus Yoma said that his officers are ready to respond to situations that may arise in equal measure.
Six people were arrested following the violent Monday demos which Mr. Yoma says were illegal as the organizers did not notify the police as required by law.
Kisumu leaders allied to the NASA coalition have however vowed to push forward with the demos without notifying the local police units.
Several people were hurt and members of the public who were not part of the Monday demonstrations sustained injuries.
In one incident, police officers threw a teargas canister at a nursery school in Nyalenda slums injuring scores of pupils. In another incident, police officers threw a teargas canister at a Marie Stops clinic in Tom Mboya estate with patients and medics inside the facility. Luckily enough, the pin did not come out.
“When there are demonstrations we are not allowed to close the facility by our bosses in Nairobi because this is a hospital. Today’s incident has put not just our lives but those of our patients in danger to,” said a medic at the facility who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press.
Mr. Yoma has however accused the public of being too quick to pass harsh judgment on the police.
“The public accuse police a lot yet on that Monday three of my officers were injured after being pelted with stones, who will speak for them?”
The Independent Police Oversight Authority has already launched investigations into the Monday incidents.