Kenyans have taken to social media under the hashtag #PoliceBrutalityOnStudents to condemn the police for the brutality meted on students of Maseno University in Kisumu after they went on strike on Sunday ironically in protest of police harassment.
The learners barricaded the busy Maseno-Busia road with boulders and lit bonfires on the road, paralyzing transport.
According to the students and from photos circulating on social media, the police among other things clobbered them and broke into their hostels.
Some policemen can also be seen frog matching students in some of the videos circulating online.
The students said their protest on police harassment was occasioned by an incident that saw the police detain some of their colleagues who had gone to Maseno Police Station to report about an attack on four of their colleagues by thugs on Saturday night.
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, who is also the former University of Nairobi student leader, condemned the act saying it was time action was taken to end police brutality.
“What the police is doing to Maseno University students is wrong and thus must be condemned in the strongest terms possible!,” Babu Owino said in a tweet.
Paul Njogu Ibmak™ : Reforms in the police sector should not be about changing uniforms. It should be about love, humanity, self-control and most of all service to wananchi. Changing uniforms while short of these values only coats the same fox with other clothes. NO CHANGE.
Edwin Sigey: Surely, stressing images of How The Police Intruded To students premises, breaking window panes to throw in Teargas as a form of flushing students out of their rooms
ElvisNeverGetsMad: i The problem is, some officers put more stock in their title instead of their duty. Yes, your job title is “police.” But your duty is to protect and serve
SON OF TETU™ 🇰🇪: It is not okay to throw tear gas canisters and harass students who are demonstrating to ask for police protection around their school due to the rising rate of insecurity. Why are some things so hard for the police to comprehend? #PoliceBrutalityOnStudents
Collins Okoth: The police have become agents of settling political scores, agents of violence and animalistic acts. They can perpetrate injustices and get away with it because their bosses under whose directions they act will protect them, let’s all stand #PoliceBrutalityOnStudents
The police brutality comes just weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced some “major” police reforms, which were reportedly aimed at transforming the police from a “force that is feared but to a service that is respected”.
“These reforms are aimed at making the police a service that is respected rather than a force that is feared,” Uhuru said while announcing the police reforms in September.
The reforms included among other key things a new police uniform and the integration of regular and administration police.