Revealed: Number of officers injured during Azimio protests
By Joshua Cheloti
The Office of the Inspector General of Police has revealed that a number of police officers were injured during protests that were organized by the Azimio coalition on March 20, 2023.
In a statement to newsrooms, Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome said the officers were injured after they were attacked mostly in Nairobi and Kisumu by protestors.
He noted that in total, 31 officers were injured alongside the damaging of 10 police vehicles.
Over 200 protestors were also arrested.
“We wish to inform the public that during yesterday’s demonstrations, we arrested 25 people, while 7 officers were injured in Nyanza,” Koome said in part of the statement.
“…in Nairobi, 10 police vehicles were damaged, 24 officers injured while persons arrested were 213,” he added.
The protests were largely in Nairobi, Kisumu and Migori.
Police officers in the areas engaged the protestors in running battles, lobbying tear gas canisters at them.
In Nairobi, water cannons were deployed to contain the protestors that had turned rowdy, at times engaging police officers head-on.
The police boss has now condemned the attacks against the officers that were deployed to ensure law and order during the protests that had been declared illegal.
“We, therefore, condemn in the strongest terms possible, the unwarranted violence that was meted against our officers discharging their official duties,” said IG Koome.
He however commended the police officers for acting professionally despite provocation from the demonstrators.
According to the police despite Azimio maintaining that the protests would be peaceful, they turned chaotic.
“The unwarranted day-long standoff that was witnessed in Nairobi and Kisumu yesterday, amounts to nothing short of violence against police and economic sabotage,” said the Police IG in the statement.
“Despite their provocation against police, our officers executed their national security mandate professionally, upholding the rule of law and utmost respect for human rights,” he added.
Despite the police boss hailing their officers for acting professionally, the opposition leaders have claimed the security teams deployed on Monday were responsible for the chaos that was witnessed.
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna further claimed had it not been for the media presence, many lives could have been lost.
“Leo I salute the Kenyan Media. Your presence and your cameras SAVED LIVES yesterday. The Police were intent on harming peaceful protesters. They shot at unarmed civilians with their weapons and canons. You kept all of us safe by shooting back with your LENSES. You are all HEROES,” the Nairobi Senator tweeted on March 21, 2023.