Leaders from Kakamega County have appealed for thorough investigation into the shooting of protesters who were holding demonstrations against police and police impostors brutality in Lumakanda, Kakamega county.
Speaking after a lengthy security meeting at the Lumakanda Police station, leaders led by Lugari MP Ayub Savula and Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala urged Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to investigate and take action against police officers involved in the Friday shooting.
The leaders wondered why the officers resorted to using live bullets while dispersing a peaceful demonstration by the residents.
The enraged leaders also called for the transfer of several police officers based in Lugari sub-county for allegedly colluding with known criminals in terrorizing locals.
During the Friday demonstrations, residents alleged that the said officers were sometimes giving out police uniforms to known criminals who conduct patrols and make arrests whenever their demands for bribes are not met.
Two boda boda riders were shot on Friday while demonstrating against alleged police harassment and brutality..
Tony Avagalwa, one of the victims was shot in the cheek and was transferred from Lumakanda county hospital to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Eldoret for specialized treatment.
Another victim, Boniface Shumira, 25, suffered bullet injuries near the eye and counts himself lucky.
Investigations at the hospital showed the eye had not been interfered with by the bullet although Shumira had a heavy bandage covering the wound.
Angry residents told their leaders that police confronted them as they were peacefully protesting along Lumakanda–Bishop Sulumeti road lobbied teargas canisters and used live bullets to disperse them.
“We have been under constant threats from people who masquerade as police and conduct arbitrary arrests, we are aware the suspects commit ills with blessings of certain police officers who must be disciplined by Mutyambai,” said some of the victims of the police imposters brutality.
They argued that the suspects were well known to them and don police uniform taking advantage of the dusk-to-dawn curfew hours.
Savula had visited the police station on Saturday morning and held a closed door meeting with area police boss Patrick Maundu and area criminal investigations boss Kennedy Limela and other officers over the matter.
“We have discussed at length what transpired and the OCPD has confirmed there is a problem that ought to be addressed, action will be taken against officers who used excessive force on residents,” assured Savula.
The legislator said he would formally write to Mr Mutyambai and table the matter in parliament.
“We don’t want to see scenarios where police misuse their powers and humiliate people the way they wish, security personnel must cultivate a good working relationship with the people,” said Savula.
He said the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i will be required to explain to the security committee of the National Assembly why police officers were using excessive force including bullets against unarmed members of the public.
He at the same time demanded immediate arrest of youths identified by residents as criminals but allegedly pose as police officers.
Savula also called on Mr Maundu to release boda boda riders arrested arbitrarily with their motorcycles.
“If they have any accusations against those arrested, let them present them in court on Monday without fail.”
Earlier, Lugari deputy County commissioner William Lenaremo had appealed to locals to remain calm as investigation into the incident commenced.