Kenya: Govt to Investigate Police Brutality Against Gen-Zs As Cabinet Secretary Kindiki Denies Abductions

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has denied allegations of abductions by security agents, and assured investigations on any police excesses.

Kenyan police have faced accusations of brutality that left over 40 protesters dead and at least 300 others injured during the recent anti-Finance Bill protests.

On Tuesday, Kindiki assured that every Kenyan is protected from arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances.

His statement follows claims that state agents were targeting influencers believed to be behind the protests against the proposed Finance Bill 2024, which was perceived as imposing punitive taxes.

Despite the National Assembly passing the Bill, President William Ruto declined to assent to it following public pressure.

"The Government has noted with concern claims of abductions and enforced disappearances allegedly perpetrated by security personnel," Kindiki said. "All persons within the territory of Kenya are protected from unlawful or arbitrary arrests, abductions, enforced disappearances, or any other illegal method of confining suspected criminals for investigations, prosecution, or any other purpose."

He emphasized that violations by security personnel or any individuals will not be condoned, assuring that independent constitutional and statutory agencies would investigate and prosecute anyone implicated in violating the Constitution by unlawfully confining any person.

To avoid a repeat of the impunity witnessed during the anti-Finance Bill protests, Kindiki stated that organizers, planners, and financiers of crimes committed under the pretext of peaceful demonstrations would be prosecuted once investigations are complete. He also said that any infractions or excesses by law enforcement officers would be investigated, and appropriate action taken against those found culpable.

On July 5, President Ruto assured Kenyans that action would be taken against rogue officers accused of shooting protesters during the recent anti-Finance Bill protests once investigations are complete. This pledge came in response to concerns raised by Kenyans on social media about the heavy-handedness of security agents during the demonstrations.

Protesters highlighted a police officer allegedly linked to the shooting of Rex Kanyike Masai, a 29-year-old man killed during the protests on June 24. Kenyans complained that the officer in question had not been brought to justice.

"On the matter of this rogue police officer that you say is roaming, I would like to get exact details of who this is, and I assure you that we will apprehend him and deal with him according to the law," Ruto said. "Please forward the pictures and videos to me, to my spokesman Hussein Mohamed, and to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)."

The President further promised that his administration would not condone any form of police brutality or extrajudicial killings, stating that every officer found culpable would be brought to justice.

Ruto explained that he did not personally instruct the police. "I don't hold absolute power - we're a democracy - I'm not a dictator," he said. He promised to follow up on abduction issues and take appropriate action.

Several protest participants reported being abducted by state agents, held for hours, intimidated, and released without charges.

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