Amani Munga, 27, was murdered by police on Wednesday at around 7:00 pm at Mtopanga, Kisauni.
Police claimed he was part of a criminal group that terrorised Bamburi residents on Tuesday. The 30-man gang left at least 11 people wounded some seriously.
Munga’s body was taken to Mombasa County Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital morgue the fateful night. His family conducted a physical examination on the body before the hospital was released it for burial on Thursday.
MUHURI followed leads to establish the circumstance police felled Munga; who he was; and why security agents eager to calm a mounting public fury, targeted him.
Munga, once a tuk-tuk driver, was at a friend’s house when cops struck.
Feared for his life
According to his family, Munga feared to leave for his home that night because police had intensified a patrol to arrest suspects in the Tuesday attack – the family maintains he was not involved in the attack.
Three police stormed a house rented by one of Munga’s friends and which the deceased was inside.
At around 7: 00 pm, the officers hounded the late and his friend out, with latter’s wife left behind. Police did not state the reason for the arrest. The officers had pistols and AK-47s. Neighbors were alert and pepped through their windows to witness the unfolding event.
Outside, police vehicles, including a lorry and two Land-Rovers, were on standby.
Police ordered Munga’s friend to return to his house. He hesitated but only complied when police threatened to kill him.
Witnesses said four police immediately opened gunfire hitting Munga twice on the chest and once on the rib and leg. The killer cops were at close range when they pulled the triggers.
[MUHURI Rapid response Officer Francis Auma (In the middle). Photo/Ahmed Omar].
When the family buried Munga on Thursday, police assaulted Emanuel Kamenye who had come from paying homage. MUHURI has noticed surveillance around the home of Munga’s parents.
The crime scene, MUHURI has since learned, is fitted with a CCTV camera. The owner, however, said the cameras were off during the shooting. It’s not clear whether he has been threatened against releasing criminal evidence.
We, however, note that police had already arrested Munga shortly before they ended his life. With the arrest, police had an option of detaining him for questioning and, in the event, he was involved in Tuesday attack, interrogate him to provide names of accomplices.
Media reports indicate police arrested six in connection with the attack. What stopped them from apprehending Munga, whom we can now confirm, was under their custody shortly before police pumped four bullets into his body? This makes us presume Munga was innocent.
Mombasa police and their bosses are notorious for reacting after criminal incidents have occurred. The Tuesday attack shows how poor police intelligence in Mombasa is, leading to instances of overacting. Police arrest and shootings that followed the attack is just a publicity stunt to show the public the government is working, yet in the real sense, it is sleeping on the job and feeding us to the dogs.
Let police stop these attacks from happening, not acting after they have occurred.
Stopping the attacks does not mean shoot-to-kill.
[The writer is a renowned human rights defender and Chairperson Muslims for Human Rights-MUHURI].