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Raped, maimed, killed and forgotten

[Muhuri officials help a victim of police torture in the 2017 vote. Photo/Courtesy/MUHURI].

Pain, horror, and anguish is an understatement of what victims of security agents’ cruelty during the 2017 general ballot are feeling.

Police shot them, some fatally when responding to protests urging electoral reforms.

Other injured were disputing bangled presidential election that was later nullified by the Supreme Court.

They’ve received no reparations from atrocities committed by officers tasked to guard them.

The damage is extensive and gashed deeply into their hearts.

Hopes for victims who were sexually assaulted and brutalized are waning rapidly.

Those whose properties were either razed down or damaged by officers are still counting loses.

On Wednesday the wounded and whose kin were murdered by cops were converged at Kondele Community Social Justice Center (KCSJC) in Kisumu by Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI).

MUHURI is recording statements with them and will seek legal redress and compensation.

KCSJC, CSOs Network, and Women Concern Center are also involved in the legal process.

MUHURI rapid response officer Francis Auma said the evidence is being collected from victims.

“It’s a momentous case for victims and society that wants to be free from security agents’ violence whenever there is a poll,” Auma said.

According to MUHURI chairman Khelef Khalifa, the suit will remain open to accommodate those whose details would not have been captured.

“Basically, we are targeting everyone in the country who was affected by security agents’ excesses during the vote,” he said.

The documentation that has been ongoing, was officially launched on Wednesday.

Some new 22 cases were recorded by 1 pm.

“We anticipate documenting substantial cases come Sunday,” Auma said.

Shootings, sexual assaults, destruction of properties and clobbering are doting many forms officials are using to record the injustices.

Josephine, not her real name, was rapped by three police in turns.

“I was coming from Kibos and violence and had broken at Kondele. Police was chasing youths beating them up,” she said.

“I escaped through a corridor and they rounded me up. One hit me with gun’s but and fell. They tore my clothes and raped me.”

Josephine said she told them she was HIV+ but this did not spare her from the assault.

Austine Oluoch was shot by police on the right shoulder.

“Police who were at Kondele fly-over aimed the gun at me and pulled the trigger,” he said. He was hit in the runup to the repeat presidential election held October 26. The first election was on August 8.

Supreme Court nullified on grounds it was marred with illegalities and irregularities.

Mary Akinyi said police shot her in the stomach in 2016 during a march against the electoral body.

Her stomach was raptured. She spent two months hospitalized at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital.

[KCSJC’s Boniface Ogutu, Mary Akinyi who was shot by police and Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma in Kisumu on Wednesday. Photo/Courtesy/MUHURI]

Akinyi was operated twice. There is still pain and she can’t operate normally.

Daniel Shuga said her daughter, Sheila Kadesanu, was sprayed with seven bullets by police. His son succumbed to a bullet wound, too.

This attack, however, occurred in Eldoret in 2007. Shuga whose wife was also shot in eye leaving her blind said he believed he will still get justice.

David Obare was hot by security agents shot on the right thigh on October 26 at Kachok Nyaori in Kisumu Central.

“I was coming from a Nyaori market. I saw eight heavily armed security officers before the gunfire,” he said.

Obare, once a boda-boda operator, was disabled by the bullet lodged on his right leg. He

returned to his rural home in Miruka, Nyamira early 2018.

Obare’s wife, Caroline Moraa, whom he sired two kids with, left because he could not provide for the family.

The injury rendered Obare immobile and unproductive.

Metal plates have been placed on the spot shot to support movements.

Like many victims, Obare’s family has fallen apart, his source income lost and dreams shattered as a result of a gunshot wound inflicted by security agents.

Owuor Issa Saidi, an orphan, was on October 25, 2017 shot at the back of his chest while coming from Kisumu National Polytechnic where he studies. Since he paid his fees, the injuries have left him, and he can’t work anymore. He has deferred his studies.

The case of Baby Samantha Pendo, a six-month-old girl who was clobbered to death by police, is the only one that has been taken the court. Pendo was another victim of police torture during the last ballot.

Boniface Ogutu, founder of KCSJC said the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition boss Raila Odinga was a mockery to the victims.

Boniface Ogutu, founder of KCSJC said the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition boss Raila Odinga was a mockery to the victims.

“We shall use the constitution that we passed and the judiciary to punish those killer cops,” he said.

[Victims of police shootings and brutalities record statements for legal redress and compensation. Photo/Courtesy/MUHURI]

MUHURI’s Francis Auma said there is credible evidence of reckless civilian shootings by security officers which warrants judicial intervention.

Kisumu was the epicenter of police violence in 2017. So, has it been in the five general elections the country has held since the introduction of the multiparty system.

Police deployment in this county has remained heavy unlike in government-backed areas. A battlefield-like scene was created in 2017 in Kisumu, an Opposition-controlled county. Tanks, guns, clubs, and boots were strongly on the ground.

Security agents responded by killing at least 37 people countrywide, including three children. Some deaths were caused by officers using live ammunition.