The Azimio la Umoja coalition has this afternoon issues a statement condemning excessive use of force by police during Wednesday’s anti-government protests.

The statement reads:

“Today, Kenyans woke up to the reality of State-sanctioned execution, injuries and even theft by police on Kenyans who exercised their constitutionally protected right to protest, picket, assemble and present petitions.

Some of the victims are young school boys and girls who were not even involved in demonstrations. Hundreds of people are also being detained in police cells or have been arraigned in court for participating in a process that is protected by the constitution. Among those in police custody is our able member of parliament for Mavoko Hon. Patrick Makau.

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We demand immediate and unconditional dropping of all charges against Hon. Makaua all those who were arrested for participating in a constitutionally protected action of protesting against punitive policies.

We are here today to condemn the senseless brutality and Statesanctioned execution of civilians by police which is becoming the new normal in Kenya. We are deeply concerned at the repeated instances of police brutality against innocent and law abiding civilians.

Yesterday, this brutality gained a higher notoriety. Police not only fired bullets at citizens who were gathering for a rally in Kamkunji, far from the Central Business District. They also fired teargas into a primary school in Kawangware, exposing to mortal danger innocent children who had absolutely no idea what was going on around them.

The brutality is not ad hoc. It is coordinated and ethicized. A special ethnic-based killer squad has been formed within the police service to brutalize and carry out summary execution of civilians in the name of protecting what they have been made to believe is their regime.

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This squad is taking instructions from an equally ethnic-based command structure that operates outside the official channels of the Police Service.

As if this is not bad enough, a killer squad that is not part of the police service is being activated to operate as part of police to brutalize Kenyans. This squad was in its true element yesterday, firing at protesters from unmarked vehicles that we know belong to police in places like Mlolongo and Kitengela.

There were murders, injuries and arrests in as diverse places including Machakos, Kisumu, Kisii, Busia, Wote, Emali, Meru and Kilifi, among other places. We are in the process of compiling complete data from across the nation on the victims of this operation and will share the same with the country in due course.

These acts of brutality are running side by side with politically supported acts of ethnic profiling in parts of the country where ethnic-based militias are being formed and facilitated to attack other communities with crude weapons, with the support of State. It is happening in parts of Nyanza along the Kisii/Kericho and Kisumu/ Kericho borders. It is happening here in Nairobi too.

Someone is working on a script of ethnic profiling, antagonism and murder much similar to what was witnessed here in 1991-92, 1997 and 200-2008. The world has known of the Butcher of Cambodia before, among other butchers. Today, it would appear a Butcher of Kenya is in the making.

We call on Kenyans to refuse to be intimidated in their own country. We urge Kenyans to be firm and resist this deliberate effort to turn the National Police Service into a killer squad for hire by politicians and regime suffering acute legitimacy deficit. We are going beyond merely condemning this emerging pattern.

We have instructed our lawyers to prepare and institute legal proceedings against police officers who have gone against their duty of protecting life and property of Kenyans and instead become a threat to citizens.

In this regard, we are appealing to all Kenyans who have photographic or video evidence of police brutalizing citizens to share the same with us to aid the case that our legal team is working on.

Going forward, we appeal to Kenyans to resort to citizen journalism and photograph and film State officers, including police and politicians who, in the course of duty, abuse and brutalize citizens.

Because the regime has decided to turn all institutions of the State against the citizens, we have no option but to act to protect ourselves.

We are going for individual responsibility and culpability against officers. We are also going for individual culpability against police commanders whom we have reason to believe know or ought to have known about the illegal actions of the officers under their command. We stand in solidarity with the victims of this police brutality and their families.

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We will offer support to offset costs and help lessen the burden on the families. We have made a decision to observe five days of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their families during which we will try our level best to mobilize support to help lessen the burden on the families of victims.

But we are not giving up in our quest to force Mr. William Ruto to lower the cost of living, commit to the audit of the 2022 election, bipartisan reconstitution of the IEBC and respect political parties.

Consequently, we announce that our protests will resume on Wednesday, 19th July 2023.

In the meantime, we proceed with the collection of signatures against Ruto on both digital and manual platforms.

We notice the Communication Authority has joined the war against Kenyans by trying to cripple our digital signature collection platform, but we will fight and soldier on while we put the CA on notice.

There is no looking back. There is no turning back. See you on Wednesday”

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