Kenya: Women Leaders, Rights Groups Condemn Police Attack on MCA

Protestors take part in Saba Saba demonstrations along Muindi Mbingu Street, Nairobi on July 7, 2020.

'Irrespective of what she could have done, the brutality meted on her was unwarranted, unacceptable'

Rights organizations and women leaders in the country have condemned the brutality meted on a female Members of County Assembly (MCA) by police officers at City Hall on Tuesday.

Fida-Kenya condemned the attack on Patricia Mutheu the Mlango Kubwa MCA who was brutally attacked by security officers, and called for immediate action against the police officers involved.

"We condemn the violence against women leaders in the strongest terms possible. This action is inhumane and negates all societal goodwill due to the police service," said Fida-Kenya in a statement.

ICJ has also attacked the MCA terming it unacceptable and a violation of human rights.

"ICJ Kenya condemns in the strongest terms possible the violence at Nairobi County Assembly by the police. We urge the Inspector General of Police to hold to account all the police officers involved in the brutality," ICJ said in a statement.

COUNTY ASSEMBLY

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga called for justice to prevail in the matter.

"As a member of Nairobi County Delegation to the Senate and a woman leader, I wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the manhandling, assault and beating of the MCA and her colleagues within the precincts of the County Assembly," said Ms Omanga.

The Senator said it is wrong for any leader to use police force to intimidate and maim women leaders, adding the assembly should be a safe working place for everyone.

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Purity Ngirici, Ms Omanga and other women leaders visited the MCA at a Nairobi hospital where she is receiving treatment following the brutal attack.

"All stakeholders must strengthen efforts towards the prevention of violence and protection of women and girls in accordance with The Protection against Domestic Violence Act, 2015 and other related policies," said Ngirici.

The MP added irrespective of what she could have done, the kind of brutality meted on her was unwarranted and unacceptable.

"It is a shame that 10 years after the promulgation of the New Constitution 2010, the police do not yet understand that they are no longer a police force but a police service," she said.

BEGGING FOR MERCY

Four police officers were on Tuesday pictured clobbering the MCA with batons as she laid on the ground begging for mercy.

The Police actions have been condemned by most Kenyans online as uncalled for.

Mutheu was among MCAs who had gone to serve the embattled Nairobi Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi with a notice of impeachment, when chaos erupted after police lobbed teargas to disperse them.

Police officers later lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the MCAs and journalists who were covering the mayhem.

Speaking to journalists after the ordeal, Mutheu said she was physically assaulted because she was unable to run when chaos erupted at the Assembly.

"I was lying down because I had a surgery recently and I couldn't run; I was alone there and I wasn't causing any disturbance," she said.

Independent Police oversight Authority (IPOA) on Tuesday evening announced it has launched investigations into the alleged police brutality witnessed at the Nairobi County Assembly.

"The Authority has contacted some of the people who were present during the chaos that unfolded at City Hall. This preliminary inquiry seeks to establish the role played by police officers who were deployed at the premise during the fracas in which at least one case of injury to a Member of the County Assembly was reported," said the statement in part.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i on Wednesday also condemned the attack against the ward representative and members of the public by police officers.

Matiang'i also directed that everyone at the Nairobi County Assembly be disarmed immediately and their licenses withdrawn.

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