Cabinet on protests: ‘Rogue’ officers to be dealt with within law

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Cabinet on protests: 'Rogue' officers to be dealt with within law
Cabinet on protests: 'Rogue' officers to be dealt with within law

Africa-Press – Kenya. The Cabinet has said police officers who will be found to have conducted themselves unlawfully in the course of containing anti-Finance Bill protesters will be held accountable within the law.

In a dispatch after a meeting chaired by President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi early Thursday, the Cabinet said all claims of police excesses will be investigated and officers found culpable punished.

“It was noted that claims of unlawful conduct by some law enforcement officers would be investigated and dealt with within the law,” the dispatch said.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission on Thursday put the death toll at 41 and over 350 injuries mostly perpetuated by the police.

Police have been widely condemned for the excessive use of force against protesters including the alleged use of live bullets.

The Cabinet acknowledged that the anti-tax protests driven largely by Gen Z were initially devoid of violence but the democratic process was infiltrated and hijacked by “opportunistic political operatives and criminal gangs”.

“In that regard, Cabinet called for accountability and action against those who committed heinous crimes such as arson, looting and robbery stating that such atrocities must not go unpunished.”

The dispatch added that the Cabinet sent condolences to the bereaved families and wished those still recovering in hospital quick recovery.

The Cabinet, however, acknowledged that the situation had since normalised in all parts of the country and security agencies remain on high alert to intercept and thwart any harm to the public.

“Cabinet commended all law enforcement officers for their high sense of civic duty as the golden symbol of our safety and our shield against those who wish to harm our nation and comprise the sovereignty of our nation.”

Fresh protests had been scheduled for Thursday but protesters were a no-show in most towns including Nairobi which largely remained deserted.

Security officers did not, however, take chances after Tuesday’s protests witnessed perhaps the worst destruction of private and public property by goons who infiltrated the Gen Z demos in most urban cities including Nairobi and Mombasa.

At least five vehicles were burnt in Mombasa and businesses looted and destroyed in satellite towns such as Kitengela.

Motorists in some areas like Machakos were also extorted by goons who had blocked roads by charging them illegal ‘toll’ fees before allowing them right of passage.

Security agencies remain on high alert in anticipation of another round of chaos on Sunday, July 7 during fresh protests dubbed Saba Saba.

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